The use of loose materials, stones, rocks and filler, was used to provide drainage throughout the substrate of the shelf. As wieght compressed lower layers they also filled in spaces between the rocks that created walls. Stones were chisled to measure precisely in order to create a tightly compact wall in the front with as little space between rocks as possible. Like animals the parts of these stone blocks were called 'head' and 'tail', refering to the visible front side and the longer, irregular buried part.
“We dug up the soil, removed stones and made the 'masiere', terraces. They weren't perfetly straight, straight rows. My wife and I heaved up stones here and there', When the others saw our labors they marveled we were able to do lift the stones up. We balanced boards at three different levels of rocks so we could roll the stones up on gradual inclines, they weighed over two hundred kilos (2 quintale). We could have broken it...." (Giuseppe C., Valstagna, 1999.)