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the star of the show, act II

January 21, 2011

Let’s continue the tour of the farm with the main outbuilding, the shed.

It’s got barn potential, but likely the only grass eater it will shelter is our

riding mower.  One corner of it houses the energy room, where our

micro-hydro system micro-hydros.  That will be a separate post soon.

The shed is temporarily hosting a muddle of metal: saws consorting with

hammers; nails, bolts, nuts and screws seeking connection; car and house

jacks refusing to be supportive; metric and U.S. sockets co-mingling like

there’s nothing wrong with that.  Egg cartons lie around aimlessly, refusing

to fit neatly inside each other.  A fortune in recyclables is strewn about.

Boards of uneven size await sorting.  Cardboard boxes are turning back

into pulp.

There will be a reckoning come spring.  Until then, I used a wide shot so as

not to offend you.  Even Slinkee is put off by it.


The coop-pen is adjacent the shed.  It’s two structures with a connecting door.

We’re certain the right side housed chickens, fairly sure the left side housed

pigs.  The walls are made of huge slabs of cedar.  We’re thinking about using

it to grow mushrooms, but ‘shrooms are high maintenance up front and

luxury grocery items may not be profitable.  We’re more likely to use the

chicken side for a root cellar and the pig side for storage.

That’s not the original cedar shake roof.  It collapsed from the weight of the

snow from the winter of ’08 – ’09.  Here’s how it looked just after the collapse.

We were able to salvage a lot of wood from it.


The wood sheds.  We built them with downed trees for poles, boards salvaged

from the downed coop-pen roof, pallets scavenged from the building supply

store on the island, and Galvalume sheet steel bought from said store.

Whenever we build something or replace a roof, we use Galvalume.  It’s

fireproof, critterproof, inexpensive and easy to transport and use.  It’s the

best type of roofing for rain collection.  Whoever makes Galvalume did not

pay us to say that.

The dock.  Not an outbuilding per se.  It seemed counterproductive

to put walls on it.  But it is out and it was built.  This is its second

edition.  We added on.  And that’s not its final placement. It’s a bit

more mobile than we’d like.  Rain storms substantially swell the

pond, creating a tidal effect.  We’re weighing our options.


The shack.  We believe this was the smokehouse where the pigs from

the pen took the Big Sauna.  I suppose you could call it Hog Heaven.

We’re developing it as either a really small hostel or a guest house for

people we don’t like.  Either way it gets a door this spring.  And likely it

will get a walkway to the finally-placed dock.


Corporate headquarters.  The end of our outdoor tour and the

ideal place to take a bathroom break.  Excuse me, washroom

break.  It’s fully functional and had a monkey skull in it when

we moved in.  Whether you’re staying in the shack as a hostel

guest, or staying there because you’re a guest we’re hostile

toward, you can find the amenity at night by following along

the clothesline.  A delight to use in warm weather, it’s a bracing

way to start one’s morning in the winter — if coffee’s not enough.

  1. January 21, 2011 1:42 pm

    Sigh. Your photos, especially the top one with the open part under the roof, have brought back memories of the mild winters in my BC days. Oh if only all of winter could be so lovely as that! Here in Saskatchewan we had 33C-below yesterday, and today it’s warmed up to minus 18. But it’s that dastardly wind that wreaks the worst havoc. If you can keep that off your skin, even the hard cold is beautiful.

    • January 21, 2011 5:47 pm

      One of the possibilities for the shed is converting it into a sorta A-frame house. The bedroom on the open second floor would have a triangular window in the space you mentioned. Yes, B.C. winters are mild, much milder than those I dreaded when I lived in Kansas. We’re having a somewhat rougher than usual season to date, far colder and snowier than the unbelievably balmy winter we had last go round. Please be careful back there on the prairie.

  2. January 22, 2011 6:22 am

    Wow, that’s so beautiful! It’s gorgeous with the snow, and I can only imagine how lovely it is in the spring when all the new life is popping out on the trees.

    • January 22, 2011 3:54 pm

      Stay tuned. I plan to fully cover spring. We already have snow drops coming up, but they’re covered by the snow, oddly enough.

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