Yesterday we cleaned out the second floor of the granary– the building just across the driveway from the house used to be a granary and carriage house, and now the larger part is used as the farmstand, and the smaller room to the left is still called the granary– it’s where we make wreaths and where the freezers for household use are. (The barn is full of chest freezers to hold the chickens for sale, but the stuff for cooking with is in the granary upright freezers.) There’s also a fridge for self-serve eggs during the summer months. Oh I need to make a new sign for that, note to self. (The old one was on a roof slate and is cracked.)
The whole building is two stories, and the upper storey is entirely lined with built-in grain bins probably original to the structure. The building was probably constructed around the same time as the house, circa 1825– it might even be older. The foundation is raw field stone, set dry, and it is actually in the bed of the creek, with the foundation keeping it up. There’s a two-seat privy that just hangs out over the creek– just, holes in seats, and you’re supposed to do your business straight into the creek, ew– and is the oldest surviving lavatory facilities on premises. It’s totally unrenovated, and is still in the farmstand, but is used as a storage closet.
The second storey had gotten cluttered up with junk and used for storage. I’d really like to put the dried flowers workshop up there, though, and i have some ambitious plans for preserved flowers and potpourri. So yesterday we hauled out what was up there– and most of it was lumber.
We transferred it out the second-storey door of the granary, and carried it across the bridge to put up into the big barn’s loft. The big barn, built 1943, has a huge hayloft that’s mostly got yurt parts and pigeon shit in it, so it could easily store lumber.
Doing this was intensively laborious and dusty, but we got it done, FarmSister and I, with a lot of help from the veggie manager, who had finished his seeding for the day and happened by and pitched in because he’s nice.
We revealed that the granary’s second floor is in gorgeous condition. The windows have mostly fallen in, over the decades, but the roof is original slate and has survived, and so the floor is flawless– wide planks, better condition than those in the house. It’s just gorgeous.
We’re going to make a lounge for the interns on one side, since the intern cabin has no electricity– we’ll run power up from the first floor of the granary, and there are a couple comfy chairs, we’ll rig up a desk and a desk chair, and maybe even get them a TV or something, some floor lamps– and then the other ¾ of the space can be a workshop. We gotta fix the windows, but that’ll be easy enough.
I don’t want to pull out the grain bins, which are built-in, but it’s hard to utilize the space with them as-is. I think we can remove them without really damaging anything, and then we can adapt and reuse the space. They’re just built-in low walls. The corners are all reinforced with old metal license plates– there’s a pair from 1941, particularly– because of mice chewing. And that’s the downside– I can’t have racks to dry flowers if they’re anything the mice will eat. Petals, mice won’t bother, but anything with a seed head, they’ll eat. And I’m sure if I preserve anything in glycerine they’ll get into it.
Anyway, I’m so sore I think I might be dying, because my normal daily activity is something like 3,000 steps according to my smartwatch, and I’ve been over 10,000 every day this week, and yesterday carried a lot of lumber on my shoulders, which is not a typical activity for me at all.
But, onward. (That’s me telling myself to get up. Just now I was playing with Farmbaby, and am sort of proud I managed to talk her out of playing tag all over the house, and instead convinced her to show me her yoga poses. Man I needed some yoga.)