Friday, January 27, 2012

Shed Junkie

All farms seem to have their share of sheds.  Sheds can encompass just about anything that has a roof and mostly keeps the weather off  its contents. A real estate agent told me not long ago that everybody wants sheds and barns but nobody wants to pay extra for them when they buy a place.  Sheds have great value but maybe are not appreciated until you have a farm and no place to put equipment, firewood or animals.

I love sheds.  I think I have spearheaded the building of some kind of a shed every year we have lived here.  I also have a tendency to appropriate them for MY stuff.

Original woodshed
 When we bought our current farm it had a building across from the house that was being used as a wood shed. Judging by the items we would occasionally dredge up from the dirt floor, it had been used as a garage and a place to work on mechanical stuff.  We continued to use it for several years as a woodshed and copperhead habitat.  Because we stored a year's worth of firewood, we added a little bump out on to it.

"Moose Lodge" and  "Trixie's Place"

When we got Moose, our Italian Spinone, we needed a kennel for times when he had to stay home. So, we added a dog run to the woodshed and called it "the Moose Lodge". A couple of years later we added a female Spinone and needed a separate place for her so we added an adjoining run and called it "Trixie's Place".  When we decided we needed a little place to store some "stuff" we added another section next to the dog run.  This became known as the "Veranda" because it overlooked our waterfall and was a pleasant place to sit, until we put up walls for more storage.

Old barn with attached tractor shed.
We have a nice old barn, but over the years prior to our living here,  farm animals have had the effect of lowering the floor so that you climbed up, and then sort of fell inside it.  Since we had no animals at the time we decided it would be good storage for mowers and tillers. We put a floor in it and turned it into a big storage shed.  The loft became storage for renovation treasures that "we" couldn't bear to throw away after deconstructing our house.  Until recently it was also full of dried gourds.  When I got a tractor it needed a home so we added on to the barn so that the tractor could live under cover with it's fellow power equipment.

Old shed next to the garden.

We also have an old shed just outside the garden.  It leans a bit but has a nice skylight.  It has been around a while and has probably seen various uses over the years.   At some point it was a blacksmith shop as evidenced by bits and pieces of coal embedded in the dirt floor.  It still houses an impressive supply of scrap iron including some old railroad track and railroad spikes.   We use it mainly to store garden tools and our Stahlman tool-handle collection.  The previous owner apparently used it mostly as a place to store used motor oil.

New and improved goat barn.

All was well and good with the sheds but then I, with Don's support, decided to get dairy goats.  That's when everything changed and my shed take-over began.  The copperheads were evicted from the old woodshed along with the firewood.  The dogs were now able to share quarters so one dog run was reconfigured, enclosed a bit and turned into goat housing.  Because goats don't like rain, the open "run" areas were covered by a roof.  A "kid pen" for the impending goat babies was added on to the now sprawling complex.  No wonder sheds are under appreciated.  My goat "barn" is very functional but looks a bit bizarre.

The old barn with its ground-level floor was now begging to be used for hay storage.  We cleaned the stuff out of one side and filled it with hay.  The loft, unfortunately, is not useable for hay because there is no way to get it up there and besides, it is still full of lumber and "treasures".

"Buck Palace" under construction.

Once it was clear we were committed to keeping goats, we needed a place for the bucks to live.  We decided to build the Grand Poobah of all sheds on our farm in a big field out past the barn.  We started construction on the "Buck Palace" and while we were building we thought we might as well make additional storage space, primarily for tractor implements and things that would no longer fit in the barn.

Buck Palace Complex
Not surprisingly, it was added onto the following year so we could store some rough cut lumber.  Then we added two more barn areas so that we could separate animals if needed.  Now it mostly stores bucks and more hay.

Sometime during all this we built a chicken coop in the corner of the veggie garden.  When I decided chickens weren't working as planned, the chicken coop became, as you might have guessed, additional hay storage which by now has taken over two bays in the back field, half of the barn and now the chicken coop.  As a good faith gesture, however, I have offered to relinquish my grasp on the chicken coop so it can be used as a garden shed.  I feel I must confess that I did this so that the ex-blacksmithing shed next to the garden that WAS the garden shed could be retrofitted as a goat barn since it is so handy to the area we are currently fencing.  That will be this year's shed project.

I think the only shed on our farm that has remained true to its original purpose is the 4-wheeler shed we built a few years long as you overlook the stack of lumber along one wall.


  1. My goodness, that is a lot of sheds. I lost track. Where is the firewood now?

    1. We don't use much wood anymore so there is a small stash in a little shed attachment on that leaning shed by the garden...oh and it would make a great place to store a few bales of hay. Hmmmmm

  2. I guess you can see that in the picture.

  3. Also,I would like to see the treasures in the barn loft. It's always interesting to see what people hang onto.