Monday, May 27, 2013

Building a Hay Storage Structure- the Digging.

After last winter, aka the snowiest winter on record, I decided that this summer I was going to build a tiny barn like thing to keep the hay dry. Because using the tarp-it-over-in-the-middle-of-the-field-so-that-every-time-it-snows-you-have-to-clean-it-off method was really getting old.

Really old.

Also the idea struck me that it was kind of silly to build the thing after the snowiest winter of all time, but then I rationalized it by thinking that it was a lot like a video game where you have to get through the level with all the monsters and all you have is a crowbar just to prove you really didn't need the gun before you get rewarded with that pistol.

You know, like that, but in real life.

Now, seeing as though all this structure had to be was four supports, a floor and a roof I decided we didn't need to make a foundation. Instead we are making a pole barn. Basically, you put poles in the ground, just like if you were placing in fence posts, then use those as your foundation. Since the floor is also going to be raised off the ground we certainly didn't need to go all stone foundation crazy with it.

This all sounded like a good plan. On paper.

In reality I had to clear a large amount of barn debris off the site, since where I needed to put this thing was pretty much where we had torn down the barn. Which meant my mornings were spent heaving half rotted centipede filled boards out of the area and trying not to get surprised by any rats or snakes. Oh and I couldn't get cut by any of the rusty metal roofing and braces and spare farm parts and nails that were there either because I haven't had a tennis shot in like, fucking forever.

It was a motherfucking adventure is what I am saying.

Then I had Scott come out and help me measure the site so that I wouldn't end up with the corners being all weird. Mainly because I never measure anything like that and always end up with trapezoidal structures. Which is why I am not allowed to build anything alone anymore. Of course once we had everything marked out and flagged it was time for me to, you know, actually dig the holes.

Which was fun.

And by fun I mean it sucked. First off nature was all like, oh your trying to dig in the unforgiving earth? Here are some 80 degree temperatures motherfucker! Of course the first hole went well as it always does, to lure me into a false sense of security. The second hole was a bit of a challenge, mainly because it was in full sun and sunlight and heat saps my strength because I am apparently a vampire somehow. Also it was a little damp. Meaning that the dirt was heavier and harder to remove, but nothing major. Because that was all in store for me on the third hole. The third hole was wet in the same way that lakes are. Once I got past the top soil, and into the shit fuck clay layer, the hole began to fill with water. It's okay, I thought it'll stop here in a second.

It didn't stop.

So I was scooping blindly, hoping that ramming it with the digging bar was taking the rocks out, because I sure as shit couldn't see them. Using the post hole digger was like playing the worst claw game ever. When I did manage to bring up a load of half liquid clay, water would shoot out the sides of the digger and slop all over me like the very earth itself had caught that stomach flu I had.

Ha ha fun.

The forth hole was surprisingly dry. Because it was filled with all the rocks ever. Also during all this is was occasionally sprinkling just to fuck with me. But at least I got it done. I suppose that I could claim that I had dug an entire foundation by myself, but I actually already did that when we built the chicken coup. Of course then I went to show Scott what I had done this morning to find all the holes had filled up with water and the cats were drinking out of them.

Which was kind of defeating.

But it's goddamned done. So now all we have to do is get the poles and treat them and then bail water out of the holes with a cup set them in in the ground and add a roof and a whole mess of slats and a floor and okay we still have a shit more to do.

But that's okay because I am no longer crawling around with a bad back or throwing up all the time or trapped in the bathroom by a combination of those things.

It's the little things really.

It's the little things.


  1. I don't do holes for anything. I usually end up with the biggest mothereffing tree roots right where I need the hole to be and then I wreck another pair of trimmers cutting roots through rocks and clay.

    What really sucks is I've watched my dad dig holes. He makes it look so freaking easy.

    1. I was waiting for a tree-root issue as well. I've never been able to dig something without unintentionally killing a tree. (though by the time I've gotten halfway through the digging I'm totally wishing a horrible death to all the trees ever.)

  2. I have to dig some holes to put an addition onto an existing shed this summer. I think I'm going to borrow the neighbours hydraulic auger!

    Aside from the muck, the water should make the clay a bit easier to dig?

  3. Clay and rocks make for a nasty digging experience for sure. And whoever coined the phrase, "Just add water" should have had to dig in it! At least post hole diggers would make a cool "shwopp" sound when they hit in it I suppose... you didn't mention the sounds. :)

  4. Isn't it funny how almost anything seems like a piece of cake when you've just gotten over being sick/in pain?