Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The end of an era

At one time there were thousands of these "bank barns" in Ontario.
This one was build in early 1900 and has seen a lot of changes.
When we bought the farm from Laurence's parents in 1974 the barn looked a lot the same.
We had a small milking parlor and we put free stalls in the barn.
The young cattle were at the neighhour's barn, but once that one was torn down, we put an extention on the back for the young cattle.
A second, sealed silo was added in the 80th.

 The hay and straw was stored upstairs and for a long time I would raise our small calves therer till calf hutches became popular.
It was not fancy, but we made it work.
By the mid nineties we realized that things were going a little tougher. Laurence needed back surgery and I had problems with hands and shoulders.
Both our kids had other plans, so the quota was sold and the cows left.
We had beef cattle for a few years, but decided to quit with that also.
So the barn downstairs stood empty for many years.
Upstairs we still stored the straw we needed for the  chicken barns.
But even that changed. From small suqare bales, that had to be handles many times we changed to big round bales, stored in the shed.
With people coming in to chop and spread the straw,, what used to take a few days, is now done in a few hours.
There the barn stood, empty. And an empty barn deteriorates.
I had been nudging Laurence a few times, but no decision had been made.
Till last week.
 Neighbour Stanley's barn came down and when Laurence went over to see who was doing it, he found out, that ours might also be of interest to the crew.
Saturday the boss had a good look and by Monday morning the crew was ready to go.
First they took all the left over straw bales out and after that the teardown started.
Yesterday afternoon the left over shell came down.
I gave Laurence the camera, but he missed it!
Next step will be the sorting out and cleaning up.

 These banrs were really amazing.
One of the pictures shows a part of a beam. Notice the ax marks.
No saws were used.
And notice the peg
The beams were all put together with these pegs. No nails were used.
Some of these pine beams are over 50 feet and in very good condition after at least 100 years

 In a way I'm glad the barn is down.
We did not use it anymore and we could not see that changing.
On the other side we spend a lot of time in the barn, both good and bad.
There are a lot of memories.

A look out of the back through what used to be the straw shed.
Things have changed in our farming times.
From using a threshing machine for the first grain harvest to a small combine, to a bigger one, still to a bigger one and so on.

The weather has not been cooperating. We still have to plant soybeans  and it looks like more rain is on the way.
I have to say, that our lawn has never looked greener and the perenials are doing great.
My favorite peony, Sarah Berhard. I love the fragrance of this old peony

Tomorrow four of us quilters are going to to see the African Quilts in London.
I'm really looking forward the that.
And then on Friday it will be a workshop with Paula Benjaminson. We will be printing with wood blocks.
Posted by Picasa

1 comment:

  1. Renske, who took down your barn. We have one to come down.