Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My Favorite Outbuilding

This is my favorite outbuilding on the farm. I built it about two years ago back when I was still raising dairy replacement heifers. Before that we started them in the old bank barn behind this one, but it is damp, dark and cold in there, and we had a lot of problems with sick calves. The idea with the greenhouse barn was to improve lighting and ventilation. The ridge actually has a 12" vent that runs the 40 foot lenghth of the barn. The vent is covered with a raised roof, which i got the idea for from the icehouse on the farm museum I used to work at. The roof is white greenhouse plastic held onto 2x6 rafters with furing strips. If I remember correctly this plastic is supposed to let in 60% of the sunlight. I was afraid it would get too hot with the clear plastic. It's guaranteed for four years, but I have had some on a plant greenhouse for 6 years now and it's still in great shape. The pitch of the roof is steep enough that the snow slides right off. The only thing I don't like about this roof is that it really flaps when the wind is blowing, but we have not actually had any damage. It's just the idea that it sounds like a kite on a windy day that makes me hope it doesn't act like one. The sides are 6 feet high and built from 1x6 hemlock boards nailed onto the locust posts. I got the fill that it is built on from PennDOT when they were ditching the road we live on. I think the construction costs were about $1000 not including the water line. A lot of that cost was the hardware for the sliding doors in the gable ends (small one on the west side and a 12'x12' on the east end.

Last year we raised some dairy steers in there, as you can see in the picture. This year its got pigs in one half and laying hens in the other. We like to use a deep bedding pack under our livestock and just keep adding any form of dry carbon we can get our hands on, like newspaper, woodchips, or junk hay, to keep the critters clean and dry, and to absorb the manure. After this bedding pack composts, usually with the help of the pigs turning it, then we clean it out with the front end loader trractor and spread the compost on our pastures and hay fields. I might try growing some early tomatoes in the complost inside this barn this spring after the livestock go out on pasture.


Blogger Walter Jeffries said...

I love your greenhouse barn. Well done! I think the idea of putting tomatoes in there is fabulous. The animals will have made the bedding rich with nutrients. Do you plant to mix in some soil or just plant the tomatoes right in the bedding?

On my posting about Winter Farrowing Ideas #1 you asked on my blog about how to place a link on your blog to my blog. This is the same place that you write your posts from if you do them on the web.

What you need to do is go into the settings page and then to the Template tab along the top area.

Once you are in the Template you can select and copy the text there in the box to take into a text editor on your computer and bring it back or you can edit it right there. I do my editing in either BBEdit or HyperEdit on my computer with the latter being my preference. TextEdit wold be another option. I use a Macintosh. On a Windows machine you might use your notepad application.

Once you have the text look for the section containing something like:


The area just below that is where your links appear. Right now you have:

Google News

which is created in your template by the list structure like the one below. There are matching URL's and ShownText's.

< ul>
< li>< a href="URL1">ShownText1< /a>< /li>
< li>< a href="URL2">ShownText2< /a>< /li>
< /ul>

Note that I have put a space after each of the < symbols to make them not act as HTML in this comment posting and I've shortened the code by replacing the current URL's with just URL1 and URL2 to make it more readable.

You can simply replace the text ShowText1 (Edit-Me in your blog template) with:

Sugar Mountain Farm

That is the text that will be displayed in the sidebar. You'll also need to set the address (the URL) for the link to go to when a user clicks on the displayed text.

In the URL part you would replace URL1 with:

for example to make ShownText1 link to my web site. You can do this same thing for anyone you want to link to on your blog.

One neat trick for figuring this sort of stuff out is to look at the source code (View Source in most browser menus) and tinker. Sort of like working on an engine. :)

If you have any questions, just ask.


Sugar Mountain Farm
in Vermont

1/26/2006 09:42:00 AM  

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