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Connected Farm

 
Nancy Sinclaire
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Connected Farm is an architectural design common in New England where the big house is connected to the little house (kitchen) and the little house is connected to the back house (carriage) and the back house is connected to the livestock barn. With the record cold this week it would be great not to have to exit the house to care for animals. Using passive solar this would be one looong house. Does anybody have any thoughts on connecting the house to the barn with some type of covered walk way that could double as something or underground path that could double as a cold cellar? This would be for if the barn was enough behind the house to also collect solar energy. During a blizzard it is not safe to go outside.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1086
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Nancy Sinclaire wrote:Connected Farm is an architectural design common in New England where the big house is connected to the little house (kitchen) and the little house is connected to the back house (carriage) and the back house is connected to the livestock barn. With the record cold this week it would be great not to have to exit the house to care for animals. Using passive solar this would be one looong house. Does anybody have any thoughts on connecting the house to the barn with some type of covered walk way that could double as something or underground path that could double as a cold cellar? This would be for if the barn was enough behind the house to also collect solar energy. During a blizzard it is not safe to go outside.


I've lived in Vermont, NH and Maine. The "Connected Farm" as you put it is a design that I see around here. There's another word for this that I'm not remembering at the moment.

Personally I highly dislike this design. There are a lot of farms that are not done this way and for a big reason: Fire. With a "Connected Farm" you lose everything when anything burns. Two farms burned this past week. A bunch of homes too. Some were the connected design. A fire started in one area and spread so they lost everything or much more than they would have with a disconnected design.

We built our farm as a group of out buildings that are well separated and predominantly made of masonry. Masonry means it is fire proof and rot proof - both rotting wood and fire are problems with wooden construction.

I would not want to be tracking dirt, manure and bacteria through my cold cellar when coming in from working the animals. Bad idea. One more reason the connected design would be trouble.

Frankly, going outdoors between buildings is not such a big deal. Our farm is pasture based, not confinement, so even in the winters the animals are spread out. It was -24°F outside and you just deal with it. You build up a tolerance for cold. Dress in layers, good boots, good gloves, good neck warmers, good hats, everything dry, a place to dry things near the wood stove, extras of things. Far cheaper and less expensive.

See:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/cold-snap/
 
R Scott
Posts: 3306
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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I like the idea, but the implementation usually leaves a lot to be desired for all the reasons Walter mentioned and more.

When you look at your site from a permaculture design perspective, you have to make too many compromises for solar, water, and fertility aspects.

Building basements and cold cellars are EXPENSIVE in time and money regardless of the methods, it is financially tempting to combine them. But to get a cellar to work right (at least here) it needs a solid mass of earth above it as well. A basement, even with an insulated roof/floor, will not hold stable temps as well as a "cave."
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