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Farmsteading... creating a master plan  RSS feed

 
Posts: 118
Location: Hamilton, MT
4
bee chicken forest garden
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Recently, we acquired our farm property. It has an old 30 x 60 barn encircled by corral, 20x60 shed, 12x18 shed, 40 x 50 hay shed. This spring we plan to build our new home on the property while looking to morph the existing outbuildings into useable structures for our long term needs. That being said, we started to develop a wish list of useable needs for storage / sheds. The list is as follows...

Residence
Milking station (cow and / or goat)
Dairy Shed (perhaps Comm'l kitchen for processing milk, cheese, other for use and/or retail)
Cider Room (for hobby / retail cider production)
Bee Room (for hobby / retail honey production)
Meat Shed w/ adjoining kill area(for harvesting / preparing farm animals for consumption / retail... tie into Comm'l kitchen?)
Storage Shed for misc supplies
Work shed (for wood working, welding, tractor repair, storage and maintenance)
Cold storage (recently harvesting fruits & veg, as well as canned goods... basement of house??)
~3 stalls (for holding animals in transition... animals will be pastured, but pregnant, injured, etc will need place for rest)
chicken coop (built off of existing structure, or build new??)
Barn (for animal husbandry equipment storage, hay storage, etc).
Greenhouse (built of existing structure or stand alone).
wood storage
other

Question I have, are there other structures / needs that I am presently overlooking to incorporate into a Master Plan design?

Please shoot forth your thoughts as we continue to develop this idea / design forward.

Thanks,

Tim
 
Posts: 59
Location: Virginia
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One of the lessons of permaculture I have enjoyed pondering is that every element should support multiple functions, and that every function should be supported by multiple elements. Taking this philosophy to buildings has lead me to the design of what I call a "great room."

A "great room" is a workshop, a gathering place, a dining room, a sales shop, a large office, a weekend dance hall, a community theatre, and more. The predominant feature of such a great room is that it has a section that is basically big and rectangular--what you do with it is up to you. Once you start from this definition, you start to see "great rooms" all over the place: fellowship halls at churches, our own kitchen/family room combination, and more.

When designing a great room, I noted a couple requirements:
- It must have an attached kitchen
- It must have an attached bathroom
- A pantry is important to the kitchen, as is a nearby cellar
- A coat closet and other storage closet are useful to the great room itself.

We're still working out things like dimensions (25'x50' or so), lighting (sunlight, where possible), heating (Rumford, RMH, water heater, etc.), cooking (brick oven, rocket stove), plumbing, cooling, etc., but I at least like the idea from the basics of a large room that supports multiple purposes. You could even go further: a greenhouse placed just lower and to the south of the great room could be used to provide food as well as solar heat to the room, while creating a place for the septic system to feed into.

The point is: how much utility can you get out of one building project, especially since each building project tends to be quite costly and to take many years to accomplish.

Dan
 
Posts: 29
Location: Helmville, Montana
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We are in the process of buying land, too, so are trying to come up with a master plan. The land we are buying has on it an old 5th wheel RV and a shed, so we're thinking the first order of business is to find some sort of house trailer that can at least be a "hard tent" while we build a straw bale house. We are planning a shop/garage made of shipping containers and a barn made of some combo of containers and straw bales. The problem is the overwhelming urge to find a way to do it all at once!
 
Dan Cruickshank
Posts: 59
Location: Virginia
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Have you looked at slip form construction at all? It's a means of building with stone and mortar ...
 
Posts: 2
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I'm not sure where you are located, but I've been trying to pearn about such topics from my uncles who have a dairy farm. They have a 1983 copy of the book found at http://www.mwps.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=c_Products.viewProduct&catID=710&productID=9573&skunumber=MWPS%2D1&crow=8 This book covers anything from laying areas out for ease of use and making sure animals have what they need to placing things in relation to roads for visability and how snow fences work. There are other things on the site and I think one is on the farmsteading category is a cheaper cd just for planning a ffarmstead. I'm fairly new to the idea of wanting to do something like this in a permaculture way, so I'm not sure how much that affects layouts and such like this.

This may not be helpful in narrowing down your list, but hoping maybe it will clarify the subject a bit for me as well. So my question is, sometimes it seems like permaculture is just cramming a homestead or farmstead onto as small an area as possible and making every planting and usage of space count by making things productive in multiple ways and trying to do it without chemicals or turning it into a factory farm of some sort either.... is this an accurate way to think of it?
 
Megan Waugh
Posts: 2
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Sorry, didnt realize i hadnt included namw of book. It is Midwest Plan Service structures and environment handbook.
 
Heather Brenner
Posts: 29
Location: Helmville, Montana
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We may well use some slipform masonry, as the notion makes my husband happy. It'll depend on what's available on our land for stones. We will be using some cob, at least enough for a rocket mass heater, but likely more, as well.
 
Tim Southwell
Posts: 118
Location: Hamilton, MT
4
bee chicken forest garden
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All good comments... thanks.

I agree wholeheartedly with stacking functions... whether in your planting design or utilizing structures. Rather than tear down the 80-100 year old sheds / barn on the property, we are trying to work within the century old worn footprint to revitalize the structures to bring usefulness and efficiency to the overall farmstead development. One shed will continue to be used for general storage, while also housing irrigation equipment and repair, as well as house our beehives & equipment.... we will build an additional 20x20 space off the end to act as a meat shed with adjoining holding pen (this space will be for harvesting animals, processing, skinning, hanging, etc). A new shop to be built will handle wood working, welding and tractor storage / maintenance, as well as renewable energy battery storage & farm office. Any interior shelving or tables will be on rollers to afford moving to house workshops, group events, etc. We are presently designing for a renovation of the barn to accommodate cow/goat milking station, chicken coop, several back-up stalls, misc equipment storage, cider room storage and comm'l kitchen for finish processing of various edibles. There remain a few more needs to be met with structure development, but time will dictate efficiency of placement, size, & use.

The book referenced had a thorough Table of Contents, and looks to have some really useable info inside. My best reference to date has been speaking with generational farmers who have come up the ranks from child to parent on the farm. They have refined the process of stall sizes, daily chore efficiencies, etc., and know the tried and true ways to get things done properly. Speaking with folks in the trenches (much like what we are doing here) make some good sense.

Still waiting to see where we will store / build space for firewood, tractor implements, hazardous liquids (gas, diesel, chain oil, etc) from the kiddies, greenhouse... what else?? Time will tell.

Best of luck to all in their endeavors.
 
Heather Brenner
Posts: 29
Location: Helmville, Montana
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Tim, you didn't just buy an old dairy farm near Corvallis, did you? If so, congrats! That looked like a nice place. (I'm in Stevensville, and we've been looking at places, but we've settled on one near Drummond)
 
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