Friday, June 3, 2016

What is a Barn?

Of course I know what a barn is, but I've been thinking a lot lately about what a barn is functionally.  The photo above is a barn.  A beautiful one that was used to house dairy cows a long time (50+) years ago.  For that purpose it had concrete staunchons and a huge beautiful hayloft.
What does Wikipedia say about barns?
A barn is a structure, and it's a "barn" based on the purpose it is used for.  Being beautiful and historic is nice, but at that point it becomes less about function and more about being a showpiece.  It was lovely to have a showpiece on the farm, but decadent in the sense that we don't need a showpiece.

Here's the building I have recently dubbed "Our Barn":
Our new barn is smaller than our old barn.  It used to be a grain storage building, so it is divided into 6 sections inside.  One of them has recently turned into a chicken coop for my hens, a perfectly functional use for the space.  The new coop is bigger than the old one and so the hens have more space and the humans who care for them do, too-- it's really nice!  This barn has lots of space for us to store things for various uses. 

It has a good metal roof and I'm going to paint it soon to preserve the outside and make it less ugly.  It is conveniently located near the metal bins, the smaller ones where we store things.  One is becoming a fuel shed, one has Sherman's things in it, and one is becoming a shop.  Things that burn-- understandably-- make me nervous these days.  Keeping jerrycans of diesel and gasoline in the garage is not cool.  So, we are going to keep them in a metal bin which we can lock and then not worry about it. 

This barn isn't a showpiece, but it's a completely practical building to use for the purposes of storing things and keeping hens.  We had two barns all along and didn't know it until one was gone.  Eventually we will seal it better and possibly rewire it, though not having power in there is not too much of a hardship until you try to use power tools.

We will need somewhere to store the tractor in winter.  At the very least we will renovate the garage (leaky roof and broken door = useless) so that we can park the tractor there and plug it in in the winter for snow clearing.  We plan to put up a pole shed where the shop and quonset were, but need to see what the financial viability of that is this year.

So, meet our functional new barn!

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