My Amish Monitor Shop/Barn

This is an article dear to my heart not because I am a carpenter but because of the behavior behind this and how it relates to my REAL Green. Permaculture in localism includes crafts like carpentry. REAL Green seeks to combine the best modern practices with the old ways. When this is done in the proper scale of a local of people and place a spiritual power is produced. Barns are spiritual vehicles of permaculture. They house the tools of the way of life. Barns grow old and gain character. This article shows the beauty of the old being resurrected in the spirit of the proven ways of the past. It is this respect for the old that is vital to a local. The reason for this is localism cannot produce what the modern global can so a return to what was done in earlier times is a must. Yet, REAL Green seeks to hybridize this approach because today humans are trapped in the anthropogenic status quo of transhumanism. Transhumanism is the techno appendage baggage of being modern with transport, electricity, and the digital. Consumerism and profit guide decisions. REAL Green understands these must be mixed together in realistic ways in a relative approach to what can and can’t be done.

I just completed a shop/barn. We have two other barns on the farm. One was built in 1950 as part of a dairy operation my grandfather started. It is graced with a big blue Harvestore silo. This barn has been repurposed for deer camp as we call it where family meet to hunt deer. It now houses RV’s and a big fireplace. The other barn is a Morton building that is 120’ x 60’ and this barn houses farm equipment and supplies. The barn I just completed was built by the Amish. It is an Amish Monitor barn. It has a 30’ x 36’ main room with wings that are 10’ x 36’. Part of these wings are open lean-toes and part enclosed. The south facing side has a 16’ x 30’ lean-to. The specialty I added to my shop barn is the ability to heat and cool it. I have R30 insulation in it with R10 insulated floors that have in floor heat. I have a wood boiler to heat this barn with. The outside lean-to portion of the wings cover things but also serve as awnings to limit solar heating by the summer sun. The top of this barn has a functional cupola for observation, but this also serves as a summer cooling chamber and moisture whisking tool. The foundation was raised by retaining walls filled with gravel. All posts are on concrete permacolumns driven down to bed rock. There will be minimal wood rot. The skin of the barn is metal as is the interior. All these strategies were done to give this barn a long life. We are almost a century farm, so I want to continue this longevity in my own contribution.

The downside of this is the cost of making this barn. It cost me dearly to make the barn with this extreme insulation and longevity. Lumber prices skyrocketed because of covid. Everything cost so much these days. I built this shop/barn so I could work on things during the extremes of weather we have in the MO Ozarks. At least 3 months of the year it is too cold, hot, and or wet to get anything done out in an uninsulated shop/barn. The result is fantastic, and I am very happy, but it was very difficult to have this built and maintain a functioning farm, but it is now done. I mixed a old design with modern insulation strategies in preparation for the climate instability coming.

I could only dream of having a barn like this article covers. On a previous farm I owned there were two old barns I stabilized but they were not very functional. I only wish we had carpenters locally that are doing what this article talks about. They are here in the states but now much around here. In many cases people are taking down the many old barns and using the old beams in newer constructions. Barns are the spiritual sanctuaries of permaculture. Build one if you can and save one if you are lucky enough to have one on your farm.

Barn Club: Excerpt

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