In the past, Vermonters would gather whenever a neighbor intended to build a barn. Barns had to be large, and many hands were needed to lift heavy timbers and complete the barn in a timely fashion. Attendance at a neighbor’s barnraising meant you could count on them to come to your barnraising, or when your barn was on fire, or at haying. Barnraising supported civic society as a whole.
We no longer live in an agrarian society, but I managed to host a barnraising, nevertheless. I knew that we’d need a team capable of working together. Matt, Matt’s brother David, and David’s partner Cassie came and we got to work pretty quickly.
I usually just dive right in, but David and Cassie were smart enough to double check and count components. Everything was in order.
We got started assembling by putting together the peak of the building. The piping and the bolts were a little fiddly but manageable, especially with Matt’s power tools helping to tighten everything up. Another confounding factor was the sandy surface where we were working. Jim, our landlord, was kind enough to make a surface of extra septic sand to absorb moisture from the sheep in the barn. It was a comfort knowing that the sand would be handy later, because it wasn’t that useful during assembly.
Before long, a frame took shape. We were feeling good, as we had completed the frame in a little under two hours. We paused for a meal of roast chicken and vegetable skewers. Dusk came, and we wandered out to put on the cover, figuring it would be fairly straightforward
We figured wrong. Getting the tarp over the 13 foot high top of the garage was quite a challenge. David proved a nimble ladder-climber. A significant amount of paracord helped us pull the top over. Setting up the end pieces was no picnic, either. It was several hours after dark before we actually finished.
The finished barn is 20 x 12 feet and has plenty of room for the flock to grow. I know they’ll be pleased when they see it.