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

1 comment:

Marysue PRICE said...

It has been a while since i have visited your blog, I used to read it often but things get ahead of us and we forget one day and then another . Something made me take a look tonight. I have thought of you quite a bit lately. I am working on a farm again and loving every min of it. This time as a mother to 24 adolescents from around the world who are learning to live a mindful life on a small working farm. There is a lot to do here and a lot to learn here . But we take it slowly and watch our steps. I am so happy to see the restoration and saving of your barn , and the fact that it has been in put in trust is wonderful . Here where I live now is the 4th largest Amish community in the world and the farms are vibrant and still part of the culture . It is nice to live in this community where farming is still somewhat a way of life and the barns are not all falling down and dilapidated . I am happy to reconnect with your blog again and will make a point to come back more often again. Your words always gave me beautiful pictures in my minds eye of the farm that I once knew and two beautiful women whom I had the good fortune of knowing . all my love to you both, Marysue