I did use A-Frame which I myself made to locate contour lines. You may also want to do the same.
Singlehandedly I accomplished the task in my farm. The part of the farm
I staked has about 65% slope. At first staking the farm was recently plowed once using animal-drawn
plow. I again staked at 2 weeks after planting of peanut. The contour lines were to serve as guide in the planting of coconut and fruit trees.
It was a fulfilling experience even if it was exhausting. I learned too that it’s time-consuming when there’s nobody supplying and sinking pointed stakes on the ground.
The A-Frame I made had legs about 2.10 m (210 cm) long and crossbar about 1 m. Leg-to-leg distance was about 1.8 m at the base.
Seveal times in the past I also demonstrated how to make and use a miniature A-Frame. The frame just stood about 15 cm and for an entire hill I created a mound of soil about 50 cm high. To mark the spots on contour lines I used bamboo sticks.
For convenience, we assume that we start marking the spots on the contour line from left to right of the slope. We are also facing the slope. Further, we will refer to the legs of the A-Frame as Leg 1 and Leg 2.
Here’s the step-by-step procedure if you want to try it:
1. Position the A-Frame on
the ground with Leg 1 to your left and Leg 2 to your right. Mark Leg 1 with a
Move Leg 2 up or down
until the weighted string crosses the midpoint mark on the crossbar. Both legs
now sit on the same elevation. Insert into the ground a stake immmediately below
Leg 2. (Note: you can do it faster if you apply approximation rather than
Staking below the forward leg is preferable because the stake will serve as a wedge. It will hold the leg in place when the frame is flipped forward. Otherwise the leg to your left may slide downward.
2. While maintaining on
the ground the position of Leg 2, move the A-Frame to the right by swinging
only Leg 1 rightward. Move Leg 1, now to your right, up or down until the
weighted string stabilizes at the crossbar mark. Insert another stake below the
3. Repeat the procedure until you reach the other side of the sloping land.
Note: The staking may not be on every swing of the frame. It may be every 2, or 3, or 5, or whatever the farmer or manager wishes. If the intended plant-to-plant distance is, for example 5 meters, staking may be done only every 5 swings of the A-Frame.
If the frame was adjusted to have a 1-meter leg-to-leg distance, the straight line distance from stake to stake will be close to 5 meters. It will not be exactly 5 m because the contour line when viewed from the top will likely be that of a curve. It may even curve irregularly to both sides if there are high- and low-lying portions on the face of the slope.
If there is a farm help carrying a measuring pole, for example a 5-meter bamboo pole, it can be placed on the ground to serve as guide in the placement of stakes. These stakes will be convenient markers of hills spaced 5 meters apart.
(Ben G. Bareja, July 6, 2018)
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