I broke with tradition and only got one quote on our goat barn. I selected Abner B as our builder.I found Abner on Craigs list and by his family picture it was pretty obvious he and his family are Mennonites. Mennonites are legendary barn builders in this area and I liked Abner from the first moment I met him. Is it stereotyping when its positive?? Well I guess its a stereotype that doesn't offend anybody at least. And in this case the book was just like its cover. We went with Abner and we haven't been sorry. More on that below. Chuck my excavator/logger has cleared the lower bottom for pond 1,built a road across our wet weather creek, dug a "special " hole for us (more below) and seems to be picking up speed on all fronts.
Moving from 2850+ square feet to 1200 square feet will have its challenges. The greatest is storage. We own a rental house in Athens and it had an Amish built 12X16 storage building on it.I found the man who delivers the buildings for the Amish manufacturers and he moved it from Athens to the farm for $250 (including setup!). Here it is below sitting adjacent to the double wide
Our plan is to make this my workshop and tool shed.Our garage is going to be multi use.First and foremost "TLA's" home gym will be set up in there.It will also house our upright freezer,an extra fridge (also from our rental house), the poodle grooming area, rabbit food and other non gas powered items. The chain saws and tillers and other small gas powered implements will be stored in the tool shed so "TLA" wont have to fight the gas odors when she does one of her 5 workouts a week. This is the "pink sewing and snoring room" now.You can see our $.57 a square foot laminate peeking out from the corner. Terry says it is not the highest grade stuff so we will have to treat it gingerly."TLA" says that I should have just done the whole house in linoleum (which is in the kitchen,bathrooms,utility room and closets). She is probably right,she usually is, but I do like the look and insulation qualities of the laminate and the padding underneath.
These are our kitchen cabinets. They are oak and we went with a one step "honey oak" stain. Just one coat to let the grain show through.We think they look great. By the way I was able to score 7 quarts of one step stain for a total of $21 at Knox Rail Salvage. One quart at Home Depot was $13. CHA CHING! The cabinets are all wood no particle board.They were unfinished and pre-sanded. We got 9 feet of lower counters,12 feet of wall cabinets, a 30 inch pantry, a four foot double sided island,and a micro wave cabinet plus the stain for under $2K! Now you know why they say "Hi Rico" as soon as I hit the door at Knox Rail Salvage.You can see our linoleum underneath the cabs.
Above is what our dining room looked like with the "wall paper from hell". Below is what it looks like now with the muted green we picked out.Just one coat and that was it.
The above picture was taken about 5 days ago. Below you can see how far Abner has gotten since then. These guys are good.
"TLA" has contacted our "goat whisperer" lady. We are going to start with three milker does. Sabrina a Nubian mix and the two "Spice"sisters Nutmeg (aka Meg) and Ginger who are pedigreed Nubians.When "TLA" confirmed this by e-mail this week excited wasn't the right word.Ecstatic would be more spot on. We even had our first crop planting today as I over seeded the barn job site with various pasture seeds.Really felt like a farmer waiting on the loading dock at the local Co-op for clover,orchard grass and perennial rye. Got to have some munchies for our girls!!! I probably looked like a dork spreading it with my Knox Box grass seed spreader instead of a proper tractor.
We are hoping to build two ponds on the property.This will require better access to the affected areas. Below you can see our new road across our wet weather creek complete with culverts!
And below us now is that "special hole" I mentioned earlier. It is the future site of our very own root cellar.When and how much is still undetermined but we hope to be able to do it this year. We picked a site cut out of a hillside below the double wide
- Kitchen counter tops- Salvage places don't have enough of one color so...arrrrgh...its retail. But we both agree the big money goes into the infrastructure of the farm not the counter tops
- Finding a home somewhere else for the hideous single wide
- A workable chicken coop.We are getting my mother in laws flock.
- One more rabbit hutch
- More progress on our two ponds
Oh yeah and then there are fruit trees..blueberry bushes...planting a muscadyne vineyard,...tilling and working soil in several garden plots,...devising a way to pump irrigation water from the ponds.....a honey bee hive...stocking the ponds ...a new guard dog..deer fencing...and so on. I never looked forward to so much work with so much excitement.
The Bald Man