Barn roof party – members helping members

Sharing the Experience 

A year or so ago, while at a seed exchange workshop, I found myself in a conversation with two of our members, discussing barns. Since our wives appeared to be adequately wrapped up discussing the properties of the seeds they dutifully brought to the workshop, we men congregated to the kitchen to discuss the problems of the world (and how to afford a barn).

Fortunately, I had gone through this issue a few years back with one of my sons. Through that experience I found an old Mother Earth News article showing how to build a pole barn on your own homestead. Having successfully followed those directions on my own, and my son’s farm, I felt that the affordable process was worth sharing with these two fine gentlemen.

Dennis Schaefer took the article straight to the construction stage and, over the following months, I got to survey his progress every time I drove by Purely Wholesome Farm in Loudon. As Fall approached, and the roof was yet to be closed up, I wondered if Small and Beginner Farmers could help since it presented itself as a great way to benefit one another and do some “old fashioned” socializing. Dennis and Cindy agreed to my offer and we planned it for the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

At 10 o’clock a dozen members showed up ready to work… and work they did! Sharon DeCarolis and Jess Storey climbed up onto the roof trusses and immediately began placing sheets of corrugated roofing for the ladder bound men to secure what they could reach. Then, along came Sharon’s son, Chris to drive home all the finishing screws. While all this was going on, The upper sheets were placed and Jeff Renk joined Chris to secure everything down.


Three and a half hours later it was done and we all got a chance to admire our handiwork while indulging in traditional Labor Day fare – hot dogs and hamburgers. A wonderful day shared with the kind of people who know how to have fun!                                                                    Allan Mistler