Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Saving Our Barn

Marian & I have been farming, creating really, our beautiful farm since 1981. We were full of youthful energy when we started.... nothing was impossible. We took a 4 acre hay piece and turned it into a fertile and really productive vegetable garden.

Very slowly restored a crumbling 1780's farmhouse.

Built the first small scale cheese house in the state, and added a cave.

And though we've made minor improvements to the barn, the older north end of it, the part that includes the hay mow has been in dire need of savings for quite a while. It was built in the later part of the 19th century very little has been done to it. And, since it is at the bottom of a hill, decades of rain have washed sand and stone from under the cement, leaving, well, leaving a structural mess. We've known we needed to do something, but were really hesitant to undertake such a large project.

It was with the thought of saving our barn that we started thinking about the fragility of barns, and also farms themselves. We are nearing retirement, and wanted to ensure our beautiful farm would remain a farm forever. This past year we conserved our farm through the Vermont Land Trust, and we were not only able to undertake the barn project but make sure future generations are able to farm here too.

Here are some pictures of the barn work underway:

The Barn, pre work

demolition under way

using a pumper truck to get the cement to the far side

stabilizing barn so old foundation can be removed
cement for new floors

It took a while, but now that it's done, we have a truly wonderful, usable space. The happy cows refer to the new area as the Orb Weaver Ritz

Happy Cows at rest