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Rebuilding the Past

April 20th, 2013

One of my hobbies is building rock walls. Back in Ohio, I built them all around the garden. Yesterday I spent time rebuilding and repairing a rock wall along the front of the new garden area.
rock walls 2
The original wall was in terrible shape, no longer resembling a rock wall at all, it looked more like a pile of stones instead.  You can see it in the photos below, just barely sticking up on the right hand side of the photo.  The large tree is the one you see in the second photo behind the wall.
rebuilding the rock wall
rock walls 1
After a few hours of work, I managed to rebuild about 20 feet of it up to a height of about two feet tall.  This is just small portion of the walls I will eventually build.  Just to enclose this new garden I’m going to need a couple hundred feet of rock walls. When I think of how long I will need this wall to be, I might cap it at two feet!
rock walls 3
You can see the continuation of this wall back into the woods.  It continues the entire length of our property, which is pretty far. Though it is in rough shape in some sections.
rock walls 4
I think one of the reasons I like building rocks walls so much is because I really enjoy puzzles. Rock walls are just real life puzzles that you don’t have to take apart and put back in the box when you’re finished.

What’s one of your hobbies besides gardening?

25 Comments to “Rebuilding the Past”
  1. Mich on April 20, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Other than gardening, it’s got to be riding my horse :)

    Reply to Mich's comment

  2. Jennifer Fisk on April 20, 2013 at 6:17 am

    You will never lack for building material for stone walls in Maine.
    For the last 29 years, my primary hobby, although the pure definition doesn’t really fit, has been training and handling Search and Rescue dogs. My gardening and farmetting fit the definition even less.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

    • Mr. Chiots on April 20, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      Are you a member of MESARD?

      Reply to Mr. Chiots's comment

      • Jennifer Fisk on April 21, 2013 at 6:31 am

        I am one of two remaining charter members.

        to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  3. BJ on April 20, 2013 at 7:56 am

    The Great Wall of Liberty…nice work Susy!

    Reply to BJ's comment

  4. Tiffany on April 20, 2013 at 7:59 am

    My second hobby is a singer. Actually, I started singing waaaaaay before I started gardening. Thats really where Songbirdtiff came from.

    Reply to Tiffany's comment

  5. Joan on April 20, 2013 at 8:06 am

    My favorite other activities are doing pottery and riding my horse. Unfortunately I don’t have much time for either, especially when gardening starts!

    Reply to Joan's comment

  6. Joan on April 20, 2013 at 8:07 am

    By the way, that is amazing work! It’s beautiful.

    Reply to Joan's comment

  7. Adriana on April 20, 2013 at 8:18 am

    That looks great! Sometimes it feels like our main crop here is rocks. It doesn’t matter how many we pick out of the garden every year, there is always more…

    Reply to Adriana's comment

  8. Nebraska Dave on April 20, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Susy, nice work. There’s not many rocks in Nebraska soil but the flat limestone rock walls abound in my Neighborhood. Many have had their walls replaced with the modern day retaining wall blocks. I have a rock wall that runs the side of my property and is about a hundred feet long. Rock walls last forever.

    Have a great wall building day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  9. Jodi on April 20, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I love rock walls, but have never lived in an area with enough rocks! I think my longest hobby is reading and in recent years gardening. :)

    Reply to Jodi's comment

  10. kristin @ going country on April 20, 2013 at 8:58 am

    My husband has a great affinity for stone building as well. And we have a lot of stone around, so it works out.

    Now that it’s getting to not freezing at night again, he can finally finish the stone chicken coop he got so far on last fall before winter set in. The old coop is kind of falling apart, so the chickens would sure appreciate it. And the stone one is going to be just a leeetle more aesthetically pleasing than the old one made of scavenged pallets.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  11. Annie on April 20, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Your wall looks great! I was just thinking the other day, as I worked on one of my walls, how I liked building with stone because it is like doing a puzzle! lol! Funny thing is I haven’t done a jigsaw puzzle since I was a child. Fortunately, Alabama has an abundance of various stones to build with and thus get my “fix”. I enjoy building with about anything though and make equal time for welding and concrete.

    Reply to Annie's comment

  12. Misti on April 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

    We loved seeing the old walls when we were hiking on the AT. It was something that we didn’t see too often down here in the south. Around the Austin area you will come across some as there is a lot more limestone rock in that area.

    You have lots of work ahead of you but it will be very nice when you are done!

    Reply to Misti's comment

  13. whit on April 20, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Your wall reminds me of the walls around a history museum in CT that i love.

    My other hobbies are knitting, cooking, and hanging out with my family. Thankfully, all fit together quite perfectly each weekend.

    Reply to whit's comment

  14. amy s on April 20, 2013 at 9:34 am

    love what you did on the rock wall…amazing! My other hobby is scrapbooking.

    Reply to amy s's comment

  15. Rue on April 20, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Beautiful work! You might enjoy this lecture on stone wall building:

    Reply to Rue's comment

  16. kathi Cook on April 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    One of my favorite things about living in New England is the old stone walls that I see hiking deep in the woods. It really makes you wonder how different the land must have looked back then when everything was clear cut for farming.

    Reply to kathi Cook's comment

  17. The Groundskeeper @ See You In The Garden on April 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    After spending time redoing a front flower bed with a rock border I have a new appreciation for your work. =) Great job, it looks wonderful.

    Besides gardening I like to read and quilt, though the quilting has been put on hold for the past couple years …. my, it really has been longer than I thought. I’ve also been doing more cooking lately, trying out a lot of new recipes. So, I guess reading and cooking are my other ‘hobbies’ right now.

    Reply to The Groundskeeper @ See You In The Garden's comment

  18. KimH on April 20, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Great job on that wall.. I have a fondness for them as well but have none here. I used to live on some land that my grandmother & her cousins lived on when they were children and there were left over stone walls still standing strong.. They’d been mortared together with a sandstone mix and was still standing strong last time I saw it..

    Some of my hobbies besides gardening are I making bath & body products, scrubs, rubs, & the like.. photography.. scrapbooking,sewing and crafting though I havent done the last two in a while.. I also make greeting cards occasionally but havent done that lately either.. I’ve got one in the making in my head right now though and I need to get after it.

    Mostly, more than anything, I sit around reading, online & otherwise. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  19. MountainMisty on April 20, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Beautiful wall!

    My other hobbies…knitting, scrapbooking, does snowshoeing and hiking count?

    Reply to MountainMisty's comment

  20. risa bear on April 21, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Farm carpentry … not that I’m good at it, but I do build things that can be used for many years, from used materials when possible.

    That is a good wall — real world Tetris! :)

    Reply to risa bear's comment

  21. Caroline on April 21, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    I love rock walls! I wish I was able to build my own with readily available materials.

    I wish I had some outdoor hobbies, but mostly I work work work. I design websites and book covers. :)

    Reply to Caroline's comment

  22. Deb on April 22, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I have hauled probably a couple tons of granite filed rocks to use around my flower and herb beds. The farmer doesn’t want the huge rocks there and I do him a favor getting them. Mostly hauled by the bucketful to my car at the side of the road. A LOT of HARD work. Have found very pretty ones and a few partial arrowheads and other stone things, nothing valuable though. Hard to get onto the filed though when it’s dry enough and no crops to walk on. No flat rocks like your fence though. Would love that. I garden a lot and preserve foods. Learning and using herbal remedies. Crocheting. Doing Living History Interpretation for 1847 activities so have done or could do all the things they used to do that many years ago. Love reading also.

    Reply to Deb's comment

  23. amy on April 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

    So Beautiful! I am so enjoying watching your and Brian’s journey. There were no pre-existing rock walls here but I have been building them as I go along….They have such presence….I grew up in the Lexington KY area with all of the old horse farms encircled by their moss covered rock walls….I fell in love with them then.

    My hobbies are Singing….Violin and Piano….Reading….although I don’t really think of this as a hobby…more like a necessity…..Baking….ditto what I said about reading….Journaling…..Bird watching and Bee keeping…. sculpting, painting and drawing. I have many things I truly enjoy doing…..and have quite a bit of time to do it because the one thing I don’t do….I don’t do TV:)

    Reply to amy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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