Big cedar posts, hand split granite, recycled roofing and Under Orion Farm lumber combine to form the beginnings of the new Farm Store. This past August we opened the farm stand for selling our maple syrup, grass fed beef, Canopy Coffee and baked goods, as well as vegetables from Shane & Christy and Alden Tebbetts. The farm stand was a success! Not only did we sell these fine produce, it also added a fun meeting place to the neighborhood. Stories were swapped, hot coffee was shared, sweets were enjoyed, and folks stocked up on vegetables. As the stand grew, we realized there was need for a little more space, and the idea of the Farm Store was born…
The Cedar –My friend Graham built the exterior shell of the Farm Store and had requested 16′ long “big” cedar posts. The structure itself is pole barn construction – no foundation, just poles sunk 4-6′ into the ground – and the exterior siding came from the wood-lot below the house. We do not have much cedar. I am always having to look elsewhere for cedar fence posts and lumber, but the little I do have I save for special projects. These fine big cedar logs measure about 14″ at the base, which is big for cedar in my woods. They will make up the corners of the building and be left exposed.
Hand split granite – I assume this piece was left over from the building of the farmhouse foundation in 1903. The stone was quarried from a granite outcropping in the woods, just off our north pasture. One piece was used for our fireplace mantle almost 15 years ago. The piece we needed for the Farm Store was to support the face of the building which needed a window and a door. Graham, who works in the granite industry, feels right at home working with stone. He borrowed some “feathers and wedges” to split the granite piece to the desired length, the same method used in 1903. He started by drilling holes around the area to be split off, then insert the “v” shaped feather in each hole, insert the wedge in each feather and, continuously working around each hole, tap in with a hammer. Eventually you hear a crack and the whole piece just breaks off! Cool beans!
Recycled roofing-The roof is metal and red! It came off a barn in Marshfield. The sheets were long and did not have an over abundance of old holes to fill. I love to ponder the sights and stories these inanimate objects could tell if they only could – the lives of the folks who built the first barn it covered, or the animals that it housed.
Under Orion Farm lumber -We used a combination of hemlock, spruce, and white pine. The rafters that I milled were 3″ X 6″ spruce and 18′ long. The hemlock was made into 2″x6″ for beams and braces, and the white pine is for siding, the door, and trim.
The Farm Store-Built on to the side of the exsisting farm shop, the Farm Store will take over the duties of the small farm stand (not quite as cute, but I hope more useful). It will house a washing station for vegetables, a walk-in cooler (a “Coolbot” cooler – more on that later), freezers for meat storage, and more amenities for our visitors; coffee makers and dispensers; retail outlet for farm products sold by Under Orion Farm, Dancing Carrot Farm, as well as from friends and neighbors.
The Grant– We have applied for a grant through the Farm Viability Program of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board to help finish the Store. It still needs an insulated concrete floor and the walk-in cooler construction. The cooler will be a super efficient cooling system that links an in-window air conditioner with a Coolbot that reprograms the air conditioner to cool at lower temperatures for longer periods of time.
We find out about the grant in January. While we are keeping our fingers crossed, we will continue to keep the farm stand open for beef, coffee and syrup pick-ups. We might also offer hot drink specials for snow travelers!