The Timber-Framed Farmstand…….
We are excited to see a dream many years in the making finally coming to fruition this Spring. The farmstand where New England Grass Fed and the partner producers at our expansive Cloverbud Ranch property will offer our 100% grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, free-range eggs, organic vegetables, flowers and honey for sale is under construction. Rough-cut native pine rafters and beams are being joined together by timber-frame master craftsman Kyle Moclair. The exposed oversized members will express the structure’s simple functional beauty and declare our guiding principles -a time-honored commitment to honest local food grown sustainably, naturally and humanely.
Traditional board-and-batten siding will recall the days when wood was cut green and nailed up expecting to shrink. The narrow batten strips were added later covering the gaps while allowing the building to breathe. This was especially important for hay barns where air flow is critical for safety. The standing seam metal roof will similarly echo an historic agricultural aesthetic as it weathers and rusts. A faded oxblood red stain (pleasing complement to the surrounding organic vegetables and flowers) will be applied next year after the wood fully dries and locks together.
The required blessing from Portsmouth Building Inspector Gareth Eames was gratefully received this past week. He is a fine gentleman who appreciates traditional building craft. Didn’t check any spacing or members or screw diameters. Just stood back and said “Now that’s what a building should look like” and proceeded to point out the similarities to his own boat house in Little Compton. The covered at-grade porch will be supported by 8″-10″ diam. native red cedar tree trunks collected from a generous friend’s ranch in South Kingstown.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the process was “topping out”. Traditional timber-frame builders always nail a piece of evergreen to the highest point on the structure to honor and appease the spirits that inhabit the wood and the trees that protect and support us. An ancient Norse / Germanic pagan tradition that lives on and is thought to bring good luck to the project – we’ll take it. The owner is supposed to wet the branch to keep the roof from leaking – perhaps Mr. Z will assist with that formality the next time he is down visiting. In a curious Homer Simpson moment we had to move the framed building because we forgot to put a foundation under it (hits palm to forehead). We didn’t actually forget – was approved at 12′ x 14′ with oak beam on gravel pad. Went to 14′ x 16′ and inspector didn’t mention this required footings. Good thing timber-frame moves so easily with strapping and greased pine 6 x 6 skids . Should be finished in time for our Grand Opening and Creole BarBQ on Saturday June 3rd.
Cloverbud Starter Share for $500 – 10 lbs. Grass-Fed Ground Beef, 10 lbs. Grass-Fed Steak (mix of sirloin, T-Bone, Ribeye, Kabob cubes),3 Whole Pastured Chickens (choose when you want them), 3 lbs. Free-Ranged Heritage Pork Bacon, 3 dozen Free-Ranged Eggs (choose when you want them), 3 Veggie Boxes (you choose weeks), 3 Flower or Herb Bouquets (choose when you want them), 1 lb. Jar of Wildflower Honey.