Piney River Brewing Company

Down to the barn shell

In Start up on August 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Brian and I agreed tonight that on the hottest of brewing days in our future, it will probably never be as hot and as dirty as the past four days.

Early Thursday morning we had a new well dug on our property.  The well that we currently have is very old and not very deep.  The water is fine–quite tasty, actually–but we needed more water pressure for our current adventures.  In between the greenhouse/bottle tree stump and the the storage shed, our new well is 190 feet deep with water at 80 feet and pumping 30 gallons a minute.  Gotta love those pure Ozark water streams.  The new well isn’t hooked up yet, but it well be.

Also on Thursday we began removing the remainder of the 20+ year old hay from the loft of the barn. Most of the twine holding the hay was gone or easily broken, so it was a messy, hot job to say the least. There are two nice holes on each end of the loft that captured a nice West to East breeze, but when the heat index is over 100 degrees, it was hot. We threw the hay from the Eastern floor level window down to trailer below, and unloaded the hay from the trailer. We had an altercation with a yellow jacket nest on our first unload, so we didn’t go back to that spot to unload again! (Sorry, no photos. I abandoned the camera in the truck when the yellow jackets came in.)

On Friday, we completed hay removal–seven loads total. While we are proud of keeping our old barn, I’m pretty sure there will never be any hay in it again.

With the top of the barn clean, we began work on the bottom of the barn. The barn is 60′ long and 36′ wide. There are two sides that are each 13′ wide with mangers running down the interior side of each. In between the manger areas is a 6′ walkway. The barn has been used to hold hay, cattle, equipment and in the time we’ve owned it…some game Brian’s killed, boats, lawnmowers and our UTV. At one time, the barn was used for a dairy operation. In 70 years, A LOT of manure and hay has accumulated all the crevices of the barn. Not to mention grease guns, lumber, wire, fencing materials, gas and diesel containers, tires, doors, bottles, motors, and the list goes on.

We have a New Holland LS170 skid steer, and with the bucket on that and a lot of manual labor, that barn is empty. The only thing remaining are the steps/ladder to the loft and the support beams. Most of the lumber in the manger is rough cut red and white oak that was harvested off the farm. You can’t buy lumber that’s as nice as the boards used in our barn manger. We are going to remove the nails, plane the boards and use them for parts of the interior structure of the barn. What a gift and what a pile they make! We also plan to use the rusted tin off the roof and some of the old exterior wood on the interior, too.

So it’s Sunday night, and we’re down to a really well built barn shell, and a big dream. There’s nothing quite like being covered in dirt (and composted manure), dripping with sweat, and laughing with your best friend about how you’re going to use some piece of wood you just pulled out of your old barn.

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