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The Barn Job

Dec
3

Something is afoot.
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The stall addition to the side of the original part of the barn is getting a facelift.
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I’ve been a bit frustrated with the three stalls to the left of the alleyway ever since I moved in. Dampness has been a huge problem, which I’ve worked on in various ways–it has poor drainage and was built lower than the rest of the barn. Back in the 1890s when the original part of the barn was built, they were smarter than they were in the 1980s or so when the stall addition was made. The stalls haven’t been very useful for me. I’ve built shelters and other structures that take care of most of the animals elsewhere. I wanted to use this section of the barn for the cows, but it just wasn’t set up right. I discussed my needs with my hired men and we developed a plan.

This photo, below, is standing in the doorway of the alleyway into the barn. To the left are the three stalls. Stall 1 will be opened in the back with a gate, to be used as a stall if needed or for storage. The gate will keep the cows out of it. Stall 2 is where the cows will be able to enter the barn (but not get into the alleyway). From Stall 2, they will be able to access Stall 3 ONLY for feeding. Stall 3 will hold round bales.
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Looking at another photo, inside Stall 2, A is where the opening was to be cut out for the cows to enter. B is where the wall was to be partially taken down between Stall 2 and Stall 3 for the cows to eat from round bales (without being able to enter Stall 3).
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In this outside shot, you can see A, which is the outside of Stall 2, where the cutout was to be made. C is the cutout that will be made for round bales to be moved into Stall 3 with the tractor.
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And if that was difficult to follow, now you can see it in action!

Here you can see how Stall 2 was opened for the cows to access for shelter and feeding. (Noted as Wall A above.)
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The cows can access the round bales from the partial openings in the wall between Stall 2 and Stall 3.
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Happy cows, munching hay inside Stall 2.
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They can munch on the bales, but they can’t get to them to wallow around on them and be wasteful.
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A gate protects the round bales from the opening at the back of the barn to Stall 3.
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We all love this new arrangement!
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I also divided the back barnyard with a fence and a gate.
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This gives me more options for separating the cows when I’m milking Glory Bee. There is an outdoor access stall on the other side of the barn where Glory Bee can be fed when she’s separated, leaving Dumplin and Moon Pie in the new divided area.
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Not that anybody wants to be separated!!!!

P.S. Work on Stall 1 hasn’t been completed yet, so that’s not shown in the pictures.

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Reconfiguring

Nov
5

This is Ross, painting the horse shelter that I had built in the fenceline here a while back.
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You can see a little better here what it was in original purpose.
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It had room for shelter on one side, with a hay feeder, and a small amount of hay storage on the other side.
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This worked fine for the horses in the winter, though getting square bales over there wasn’t fun.
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This summer, I had this field fenced in to make a new goat yard, but there was no shelter. On the other hand, I wasn’t intending to use this shelter and hay feeder for the horses this year. So!

Time to re-purpose!
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The former horse shelter/hay feeder was reconfigured into a goat house!
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The wall that made the divider between the hay storage and the shelter area was pushed back to enclose the entire space for a goat house. The wood from the former hay feeder was re-used to make a goat feeder against one wall. There’s even room for a round bale in there!

I love it when something can be re-purposed using the same materials!

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  1. 10665127_4634039665104_7078086931103550324_n

    September 15, 2014 - Scenes from A Retreat

    This weekend was another two-day retreat at Sassafras Farm, with artist Kelly Walker on hand to give primitive art workshops. Attendees painted a primitive farm scene (with my barn in the picture!) on canvas and also painted a metal bucket. (I was SO amazed at the creativity that came out in the buckets!) I gave workshops that included corn cob jelly, burnt sugar cake, taper candlemaking, fall potpourri from the … Continued…

  1. IMG_6401

    September 10, 2014 - One-Day Retreats Coming Up!

    Come learn at the farm!

    Saturday, November 8, 2014 – TASTE OF SASSAFRAS FARM Retreat!

    Saturday, November 15, 2014 – TASTE OF SASSAFRAS FARM Retreat!

    Saturday, December 6, 2014 – HOLIDAY IN THE COUNTRY Retreat!

    I’m offering my … Continued…

  1. IMG_2929

    August 20, 2014 - Big Garden Project

    Out with the old, in with the new!

    The big flower gardens all around the front porch and to the side of the studio looked really nice when I got here. Roses and butterfly bushes and daffodils, irises, and so on. Lovely! The previous owners were members of a garden club and did garden tours.

    This is how the front gardens ended up after putting up … Continued…

  1. IMG_2855

    August 11, 2014 - Party in the Studio

    Workshops are coming up in a few weeks and I’ve been getting things set up in the studio. Before a retreat, I do all the big shopping for food and supplies that I can do in advance. There’s always a last-minute farmers market run for fresh stuff. I get all my tools and equipment in order, and get things set up for the workshops that are part of the retreat that’s coming.

    Then … Continued…

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    August 7, 2014 - Busy Days on the Farm

    How many things can go on at once? That’s summer on the farm, busy, hectic, crazy. By the end of the month, color will start showing on the trees in the woods around the farm. Fall is on the way, and winter won’t be far behind. Everything that is a problem has to be fixed, and now.

    Like, say, this busted water faucet at the barn…. Continued…

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    July 31, 2014 - Really Big Hay Feeder

    I’m having a big new hay feeder built right by the barn! I’m excited about it because hauling square bales across the front barn yard in the winter is not a fun chore. As I’m approaching the three-year mark at this farm (wow, has it really been that long?), I’m still learning all the time what works for me. Initially, I kept the goats … Continued…

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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