One of the main philosophies on our farm is utilizing local resources. This is mostly out of economic necessity. The price of building materials is often prohibitive if you are trying to make a new venture pay for itself. Our foray into small livestock coincided with a fortuitous procurement of one hundred year old barn wood. Better yet, we were able to make a trade. We received two loads of barn wood in exchange for fishing privileges.
When we started cutting the wood, we realized it was high quality redwood and in good shape considering its age. It was probably old growth heartwood cut from the large Giant Sequoias from the groves which eventually became Sequoia National Park. Although it is sobering to be working with such ancient wood (some of the trees that were cut back then were over two thousand years old), we feel the wood is better memorialized as part of a permanent structure than to be burned, as was the owner’s original intent.
The wood did not need to be refinished as it had a charm of its own with its knots, splitting and weathering. The split pieces were used for fencing while the whole pieces became housing.
See our other blogs posts on building the chicken tractor and “floating” goat house: