It’s Earth Day and I thought one way to take a look to it was through our agricultural roots. I’ve been out getting the earth ready for my garden early this morning and thought this story would fit in today.
This story comes from Kevin one of our readers who owns a small farm in Iowa and has recently started converting old farm buildings into tiny houses. I’ll let Kevin take over from here, so enjoy his story and pictures.
Farms are a great resource for buildings and materials just waiting to be “re-born” as tiny houses. So far we have rebuilt 4 of 5 buildings that neighbors have given to us. Besides the great price (free) each building had a surprise like T&G flooring, or extra barn sash windows, or cedar siding, or antique door latches.
All of them had to be moved to our farm place. After trial and error we figured out a “tension ring” system using 2×10’s with corn crib cables and turnbuckles that captured the bottom of the building tightly. Once in place the ring is then jacked up with bottle jacks so that skids can be bolted underneath. The system works pretty well and we have moved buildings more than a mile on gravel roads this way.
When we first moved to our farm place in Iowa we cleared a little area in our pasture for camping and called it Camp Coyote. Initially we had a fire ring and a zip line for the kids. We now have a permanent bunk house, a bike shop, shelter house, and a playhouse for equipment storage. The milk house we recently received will be converted to a cabin. All have been built from old farm outbuildings. The final step is to put in some landscaping and add some platforms for tents.
For us this has blossomed into an idea to open a farm campground on our property. We have lots of details to complete but hope to open in late 2009 or early 2010. It’s not a tiny house but this summer we converted an old metal grain bin into a “pool house” that houses our above ground pool. Feel free to check out our progress at www.farmhouselife.com.
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