Hurricane Farm

  (Scotland, Connecticut)
A view of life on our farm
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Rain Gutters = Dry Pigs

One of the projects that was on the slate this summer was to install gutters along the front edge of the barn.  Mainly I wanted to keep some of the water out of the pig pen, but also I wanted to try to keep the rain splashing on the barn sills to a minimum. 

We decided to run 1/2 of the legnth of the barn to start.  This would take care of the pig pen area and also it would be pretty hard to run more than 50 feet of gutter all in one direction.  Too much water would get in there and there would be overflow.

Pinning up gutters seemed like an easy task:

1. purchase gutters
2. install them on barn

Not SO simple, it turns out.  This project called for lots of pre-steps before we even got near the gutters.  One step was even involved paint (I loathe painting, anyone can tell you).  I mean, seriously, putting up gutters involves PAINT?!  What the heck...

We first had to install some trim work upon which to attach the gutters.  There was only about 1" of existing trim, not enough to provide the angle we'd need to run 50 feet.  So we tacked up some  6" pine to make a nice surface.  But, then we had to paint it.

Lucky for me, my kids love to paint!

They did such a great job that I only had to touch up areas here and there...I know where to turn ANYTIME I need any painting done.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I got more paint on my clothes than the kids did!

101 feet, 8 inches of "gutter-mount" painted and ready for the gutters...

The next step was the kids' favorite.  When I was building the new out-building, we often used the chalk-line.  They love snapping it and then reeling it back in.  We snapped a 51 foot chalk-line and proceeded to mount the gutters.  We bought these nifty little clips that simply clip into each channel of the gutter and then screw in with a power drill.  Nice and quick!  What was not nice and quick was all the sealing that had to be done to the seams between gutters, to the downspout, to the gutter end, etc...I dislike the caulking gun almost as much as the paint brush.  It especially becomes a chore on the third try at sealing it all correctly to keep it all from leaking.  Pretty soon, though, the kids will be able to handle the caulking gun, too.

The gutters are now up (ironically all the rain has gone away) and we're all ready for some dry less-wet-than-before hogs for the Fall.  Next time it rains, the gutters will whisk the water away to the edge of the barnyard where it will soak into the ground without making mud.



Progress On the Farm...Before and After Shots

So here are some photos of our farm just before we moved in.  These were taken by my wife and our friend Jeff, who checked out the farm when it was for sale.  These photos (actually, mention of the barn!) was all it took to convince me to buy the place.  We put in a bid before I even stepped foot inside.  It's all been working out quite nicely...

Here is the meadow that we turned into our pasture.

  And here is a shot from the other end looking toward the barn.

The next two are some shots of the interior before we put up stalls and made a workshop.


We spent many days working into the wee hours of the morning cleaning out and building up the barn.  We now have stalls for our sheep and milk goat, cattle, hogs, as well as seperate areas for brooding poultry, housing laying and meat hens, housing turkeys, and for milking the goat.  Several other smaller areas can be converted into whatever needs may arise.  We hope to have a few lambs nursing in one or two of these areas in a few weeks' time.

Here are some shots of the work in progress from last summer.  The first one is just beautiful.  It is so cool watching the dew burn off on an early Summer morning.  Don't be fooled--those rolls of fencing are easily a couple hundred pounds each!

Here is the fence after a morning's work.  Let me explain about those posts...We dug those holes by hand.  That was by far the hardest and most time-consuming job we have had here yet.  It was also quite a mental challenge at first as the spot we started in was all rocks and hard soil!  We thought that it would take all Summer.  Eventually, though, the digging went much quicker when we got down the incline into more forgiving soil.

Have you heard the saying, "Too many cooks spoil the soup?"  Well, let me tell you that this absolutely does not apply here.  Notice how my mom is right there supervising?  It was the first real job that we used the tractor for.  I built a fence-stretcher out of two pieces of 2 x 4.  We bolted them together with the fence between and we were easily able to put enough tension on the field fencing to snug it right up to the posts.  I'm sporting my "Summer beard" there.

Here is a shot of the barn area after some work.  This area that my son is so diligently sweeping is now "Turkey World."

Finally, here is shot of the completed pasture fence as our young poults begin their explorations.  We are lucky to have such a great mixture of grasses in this field.  This year, we will be dividing up the pasture into two areas in order to rotate the animals back and forth and sustain high quality grass all season.


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