Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Infrastructure: The Peasant Barn

Ok, ok, I admit it, it's actually a broke down tobacco curing barn. But it's my broke down, termite infested tobacco barn!

I had been toying with the idea of a peasant barn since we first added turkeys to the repetoir of the farm a couple of years back. What do I mean by a peasant barn? Well, say you were a young guys, stugling with starting a business and maintining focus on those things which bring an at leas somewhat steady payday, and you didn't have much money in your pocket, if you wanted a barn you might be willing to forgo the common trend of having a new Pole barn built with their prohibitive costs and instead focus on building something out of commonly available and free or cheap materials scavenged locally, right? Well, if your me, that's how the train of thought works anyhow.

Sure, I had a family tobacco curing barn on sight, but it was full of junk, and to be honest, I just didn't want to sacrifice the time to clean it up, to be honest, I kept hoping a storm would blow it down, that way I could salvage some lumber and metal from it and start over and just toss or burn the rest of the mess (four generations of the same family storing utter crap in the same building), so it never occured to me "hey jackass, why not try to salvage and sure up what you have until you have the money and or the skills to actually build something worth having." That is until my father said "Well, the barn is yours anyhow." That's how my dad works, he absolves his responsibility (and subsequent guilt caused by years of neglecting on farm projects) by manipulating my gullibility until I get the job done. And so it was that I convinced myself "you can do this."

lol, my carpentry skills are crap, and I'll be honest with you, I hate construction work of any kind. I know it is a necessary skill to have on a farm, but that doesn't change the fact that I don't enjoy doing that type of work, at least I don't think I do until I actually accomplish something and think to myself; "hey, you did pretty good for someone who doesn't know a thing about what your doing." The goal in the end is to basically allow the barn to stand and serve our purposes for 10 or so years, or until a suitable replacement can be built. As I told Kim: "It's not perfect, but this will work, it only has to be a barn."

Technically I guess you could call it a pole barn, given the proliferation of round posts I used to replace the existing posts which were rotten.

Regardless, theres a lot of work that had to be done and a ton yet to do. So far I have replaced 30 or more old posts (with cedar cut from our woods and put in the ground or with poplar cut from our woods and placed on concrete blocks) and placed another 20 where before none existed. This is not mentioning all the scabing of pieces of lumber that needed to be done to "shore" things up a bit. Lots of water and termite damage, but I'm getting closer. What remains essentially are a few more posts, some metal to replace, and some metal to cover the end walls as well as some inside walls and building out the interior of the barn.

The lower shed will be the new turkey abode, complete with two vents on each end and several roosts, the front shed is basically a garage, and the main part of the barn (120 years plus old) will hold turkey breeding pens (for indidvidual color and variety crosses and brooding of eggs) as well as a blacksmithing shop for my inherited blacksmithing tools, storage for fishing equipment, animal equipment and feed, a composting toilet, rabbits and more. A partial second story will also be built to accomidate the expanding quail flock.

Anyhow, this is part of the reason I haven't blogged much lately, that and adding all of the animals, packing seeds, and making the seed list ext. Expect more soon.

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