A Run-In Shelter for the South Pasture

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It is the nature of my farming life, with limited dollars, limited time, and limited skills, that I generally have half a dozen projects going at once. I always have to jump on opportunities as they arise — whether it’s an unexpected windfall of low-cost materials or the sudden possibility of help.

Therefore, back in June when I had my friend Allen working on the farm and the free loan of an excavator, I decided we would put in posts for a future run-in shelter in the three-acre south pasture. The cost of the treated 6×6 posts was negligible compared to the enormous gift of the heavy equipment.

The south pasture (having received most of my manure compost over the years) is my best pasture. This does not mean it is great grass. But it improves every year and the animals are happiest there. Unfortunately it is entirely exposed, with no shade or protection from the wind and storms that roll in from the western horizon.

So Allen and I started another project.

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In a few hours we had six posts buried four feet in the ground in a 10′ x 20′ rectangle.

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And there the posts have remained, untouched, until yesterday, when I had a moment to work on the project again.

Our friend Larry R. kindly stopped by for two hours, and he and I put up the headers to tie the frame together.

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One post had settled slightly out of plumb, and we used my truck and chain to tweak it straight again before tacking the boards in place.

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In the next few days I will drive galvanized 16-penny nails into each face to fasten the headers securely.

Then the project will have to sit again until sometime next month, when I hope to have time to scour the lumberyard for cull boards for rafters, and keep my eyes peeled on Craiglist for used roofing tin.

The side walls will likely have to wait until next summer.

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At Fairhope Farm, all progress is slow and incremental.

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