The use of stone and clod separation at tattie planting time brought a revolution in the way that the tattie crop was planted and harvested. It also brought a major change in the machines used for planting and harvesting activities. Rotavators were required to make a fine seed bed and one that would easily pass through the separator. New bed openers (with fertiliser attachments) were required to open sufficient ground to form a bed that could then be used to form drills. And then planters had to work in the width made by the beds. And if you were separating, there was a new or a second hand harvester.
Stone and clod separation was a significant investment for farmers. But it let other aspects of the work on the farm also become mechanised as well: bigger tractors for ploughing, seed bed preparation for vegetables and harvesting the potato and other crops. It also helped remove a few stones! We had our monumental stone dump.
The photographs of planting tatties at Pilmuir Farm, Balerno, Midlothian, in the 1990s.
© 2016 Heather Holmes