Monday, May 02, 2005

Stone Boat

no, not boats made of stone nor boats that sink like a rock. i mean low tech devices for moving rocks.

we decided to change the rock-ringed raised flower beds, cannibalizing one off behind some landscaping and not visible from the house, to extend two beds we look at from our dining table. most of the rocks are 50 lbs or less so i could put them in the cart that hitches to our lawn tractor and haul them the 150 feet to their new home. there are some that are considerably heavier. i'm guessing well over 100 lbs. while i may have been able to heft these if they were at waist height there was no way i was going to deadlift them from the ground and place them in the cart, let alone lift them out of the cart. i had almost consigned them to live where they lay when i recalled reading about and seeing pictures or sketches of stone boats.

people who had to move big rocks, farmers clearing fields for plowing or someone building with stone, rolled and levered the rocks onto metal or wooden sleds and pulled them with horse or oxen teams or tractors. i found this sketch on the internet and built the one pictured above. mine doesn't have metal runners as i was dragging it over 6 inches of bark mulch. here is another antique stone boat used now for moving modern oversize hay bales.

we are filling the newly extended beds with flowers and herbs. we also noticed strawberry plants growing nearby in the bark mulch and ringed them in a small bed with the smaller rocks. yesterday as i was weeding the orchard i noticed quite a few strawberry plants among the trees, so our next project is to move them to the new bed.

1 comment:

  1. My father made a stone boat by attaching a rope and 2x4 to a 4x8 foot piece of galvanized sheet steel. I remember pulling it around with my brother - hauling leaves and branches. Now I'm thinking of making one myself.