What hasn’t been apparent thus far is the “shed” part of the this project. We designed the building so that it would streamline our vegetable harvesting in addition to providing Heather with a place to bake bread. The new shed will be attached to the bakery building via a covered driveway.
This phase of the project also began Ben’s intimate acquaintance with the shovel. Each of those posts is set in a hole three feet deep–no small feat in ground that has in places more rocks and dirt, thanks to Hurricane Camille.
A light mid-March snow
Then Ben and Craig hoisted those beams into place by hand. The trusses on the other hand, got to ride on a crane.
In the above photos you can see the scissor trusses for the main floor of the bakery–these create a lofted ceiling.
Scissor trusses over the bakery floor
The shed already has a high ceiling, so that got standard trusses.
But our favorite part of the design is the loft created by the “attic” trusses over the cooler and office. This space is too beautiful and restful to be used for storage–it will be a retreat, a guest room, a practice room, a yoga room.
The loft takes shape
View from the loft
The next day, the OSB and tarpaper went on. Suddenly it didn’t rain in the building anymore.
We kicked off the new year with a little ground-breaking here at Little Hat Creek Farm! After months of planning our new bakery and packing shed, the yellow machines showed up to dig. We could not have anticipated how exciting it would be to see the realization of our dream!
JD Pippin, “artist of the yellow machines”
We’re ready for the footer
Last week JD Pippin carved out the site. There were rocks–from the 1969 Hurricane Camille landslide–but not nearly as many as we had feared. JD came back with a backhoe, dug the footer, and then the concrete truck showed up. Early next week, the foundation should appear, laid by one of our neighbors here in the Hollow.
preparing for the concrete guy
pouring the footer
Stay tuned for more updates!
This afternoon I drove up the road to my neighbor’s house to talk to him about when he might be available to help us out with his 80 hp tractor. Just before thanksgiving, we bought an old chisel plow, but don’t have the horsepower to pull it. The ground is too wet right now, but I thought I’d see if my neighbor had time early next week, if conditions are right. When I drove up, he was supervising some siding being put on an old barn. He agreed the ground was too wet, but said that he’d stop by sometime in the next week. But he invited me in, and said, I want to show you something.
He took a book down off the shelf, a coffee-table book of photographs that his daughter had put together about a few years ago. It was professionally printed and looked very nice. It appeared to be a one-off, self-published book that she had printed as a Christmas or birthday gift. Inside were portraits of family ancestors, snapshots of my neighbor as a boy, sometimes alongside snapshots of his grandchildren doing the same things: playing in the spring-fed horse trough, or posing with a rifle next to a freshly killed buck. There was also a page on Hurricane Camille, a 1969 storm that unleashed devastating rains on parts of Virginia. According to the Washington Post, parts of Nelson County experienced the heaviest rains, with over 25 inches falling in just eight hours, causing flash floods and mudslides that killed at least 150 people in Nelson County alone.
When I got home, I wanted to show Heather the photo of a Camille mudslide I had seen in my neighbor’s book. A Google image search of “Hurricane Camille Nelson County” turned up the photo in the first page of results:
Dick Whitehead Collection
(for a hi-res version, see here
My neighbor’s house is at the top of the photo. The road is Shaeffer’s Hollow Lane, and the East Branch of Hat Creek flows along the bottom of the photo. The house in the group of trees in the center of the photo is where we live now! My neighbor said that the big trees around the house caught the logs at the head of the mudslide and created a little dam around the house, which is why the mudslide parted around the house. Today, our fields are to the left of the driveway, and our greenhouses are to the right of the driveway. Had they existed in 1969, both fields and greenhouses would have been devastated by the mudslide.