Every October a small farm in Eastern Missouri comes alive with vintage farm and barnyard activities reminiscent of a bygone era in the Ozark Hills. Eight years ago, what started as a small pumpkin patch and horse drawn hay rides has evolved to a unique demonstration of vintage farm and barnyard equipment common on the 19th and early 20th century small farm. Thanks to a small group of family and friends, the collection of vintage equipment is operated with our farm animals on weekends in October to the delight and amazement of many people.
First you must decide what size of building you want, 28 – 48 feet wide and a length that is in 6 foot increments. The rafters are placed on 6 foot centers, with 2” x 4” purlins and steel siding/roofing. Let’s work with a forty foot wide foundation, easy to figure. The rafters are built out of 8 foot 1” x 8” boards. The number of 1x8s can be figured out by using the circumference. For a 40 foot wide building, figure a 40 foot diameter circle, which is 125.6 feet in circumference. Half of this circle would give you one layer of a rafter. So about 63 feet of 1×8 multiplied by 4 (because each rafter is composed of 4 layers). Each rafter then would use thirty-two 8 foot 1x8s. The end rafters really only need three layers.
One day, a couple winters ago, Khoke was in a hurry at feeding time and tried his hand at the hay knife again. Soon reminded of his previous dissatisfaction, he reached for his limbing ax that he happened to have with him. Still shiny from a sharpening, this ax benefited from the density of the round bale and worked well to open it up. It has become Khoke’s standard bale opening method.
Last issue Ida Livingston talked about her discovery that sweet potatoes were exceptional feed for laying hens, year round. That led me to wondering how we might have the tubers for 12 months, so I looked up this building plan in our archives. With what chicken feed costs and what eggs WILL be worth in the coming years, a building such as this might be better than the cat’s meow.