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creative uses for old Silo foundation  RSS feed

 
Posts: 11
Location: Northern New England
chicken food preservation goat
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we bought part of an old farm. Included among the various ramshackle structures is the stone foundation of a silo. Just the foundation... it is fieldstone and mortar, about 5 feet high, two feet thick, and maybe 15 feet in diameter. It is smack in the middle of a good usable area, but nothing is budging this baby, so I am looking for some creative uses for it. There is a small notch on the east side, where a hatch or door might have been. it is about 2 feet off ground level and maybe 2 and a half feet wide. currently there is a tangle of wild thorny raspberries growing inside.
what can I do with this? I thought maybe planting some runner beans for this first garden season, just for SOME use, but I need good ideas for long term.... anybody?
 
Posts: 240
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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The way my warped mind works, I would make it a greenhouse/root cellar.

The wall is a little high to just be a green house. So I would cap the wall with a beam I could attach floor joist. That would make a low roofed 'basement' Depending on your bond beam height, one could raise that up to a more comfortable ceiling height. Then I would come on top of the floor and put a geodesic dome. Glazed with polycarbonate it would make a good winter garden area, something you may need in the mountains of New Mexico.

 
Deb Pero
Posts: 11
Location: Northern New England
chicken food preservation goat
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We have considered something similar except hadnt thought of the root cellar option..interesting... however i think things would freeze... we were almost 30 below this winter..maybe we could pile soil around it.
oh and i should update my profile. now in new hampshire!
Thanks.
 
Posts: 48
Location: Wisconsin, USA (zone 4b)
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food preservation tiny house trees wofati
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Hi Deb

Could it be made into a mini growing area? It might have a micro-climate advantage if part of the wall was taken away. Dirt could be hilled around the outside of the wall for added insulation, or use tall plants as a windbreak around the exterior. Landscape the area with a pond near the semi-circle opening to further enhance the microclimate possibility. Since it is an old silo, there might be good soil at the bottom from decomposed silage. If there is no hard floor barrier, it might work for growing food plants not typically found in your zone hardiness. If there is a floor barrier, maybe partition it to make compost? Or could a roof be built over the stone wall to make a simple shelter for small livestock? Or could it be incorporated into a root cellar design with the berm of soil for insulation?

Becky
 
Deb Pero
Posts: 11
Location: Northern New England
chicken food preservation goat
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Hi becky,
thanks for more ideas. There is no floor. A pond isnt possible due to its location in the working area for tractors, etc. but a small animal shelter might be possible if we built up and added a floor. All good things to think about.
i considered grape vines, hops, or other viney food crop as a possibility .....
 
Posts: 387
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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How about a "fort" for grown ups (or kids I suppose!). It could be a nice private little spot to relax, maybe with some chairs, a firepit or BBQ, some herbs/flowers, maybe some little fan-trained dwarf fruit trees around the inside edges, and some vines around the outside. I have a couple of (very small) spots like this in my own little garden, just places for me to sit and enjoy my own space.
 
Deb Pero
Posts: 11
Location: Northern New England
chicken food preservation goat
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Funny, we said this would make a great fort for grandkids..
its something to think about... just a place to relax, it does actually have a nice view. Would have to build a floor and some steps...
 
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