We are now starting our fourth year here at Lackan Cottage Farm, and what seems like an endless series of building projects is at last coming to an end. The cottage refurbishment, polytunnels, compost loo, stables, the little cottage, outhouse, woodshed, bike store, paths, ponds, wind turbine and solar arrays, and most recently the rebuild of the old hay shed into a workshop and bigger hay shed.
So the old hay shed was tiny – only 4’6″ at one end, and held about 20 bales of hay. Not a lot. It was also built from (a lot of) old tin, rotten timber, and luck. Not the prettiest structure on the site, certainly. In order to line up the new hay shed next to it, I built that first using a couple of lengths of our old electricity pole to form 2 corners, and then built a studwork frame, onto which I’ve added larch cladding.
In some of the wettest weather we’ve had for months, I then pulled the old hay barn bit down and dug out 50 years of old muck from the bottom of it to reveal a hitherto undiscovered hard floor (which I thought was concrete but which turns out to be left over render from the cottage).
I then joined the end stable to the new barn, filling in the gap with what will now be the workshop. The hay barn door is back in its rightful place, and I got the chance to use up some of our collection of interesting windows and doors – in this case an unusual horizontal pane sash window (which works well), and an old conservatory door. All the doors and windows will get painted the same blue once the rain stops.
The sheer novelty of being able to collect all our tools and kit into one place for the first time ever is quite overwhelming, and we’ve found a lot of things that we’d forgotten existed. The shelving (128 square feet of it) arrived just in time from a barn clearance, as things tend to do.
Here is the outside. The larch will go grey with age, and the building will soften in nicely. The consequence of being able to house all the tools and bits of things in here, is that we can now get on with the business of demolishing the old 1950’s garage next to the house. This marks the end of the old buildings that have to come down, and leaves us with only one final structure to replace the garage – our root store, which being built into the ground should be somewhat less conspicuous.
So all in all, the last 2 weeks have been full on, what with heading to Wicklow for the dome, building it, demolishing one shed, building another, and now demolishing yet another. Plus another trip to Wicklow on Sunday for a ‘build a yurt from pallets’ course. Busy busy. The plan is to be done with buildings by May 1st, and spend the whole summer concentrating on the veg and orchard.