The Putnam Farm after One Year

It’s just about a year ago exactly that we passed  papers on the Putnam Farm. I told one of the neighbors that “the scorched earth policy is over,” and indeed it looks a little like that has been our intent.  Once our 2012 growing season was over,  we had to get the house habitable and back in order.  Jim Osterlund had to deal with some dangerously antiquated electrical issues and we had our propane guy install a new furnace before we focused on the fields and buildings. There was a lot of brush to cut back, and with the  help of Leo Maslan, his climbing skills and chipper (coupled with a warmish spell of weather in January),  we got a lot of  brush cut from the edge of the fields back to the stone walls.  Wayne McCutcheon completed a survey at the same time as a precursor to  pursuing conservation easements.

new fieldApril 26,2013-view from new field

We decided to open up a new field that lay unused on the river side of the railroad tracks. The folks from Oak Hill Lumber came in with their chipper and shears and logged it off.  Three days, an excavator, a bulldozer and Scott Macleay and Rob Williams left us with a three-acre field to work with.

barn frame

The barn,  just prior to final dismantling- 4/27/2013

Many have lamented the loss of the barn.  As mentioned in an earlier blog, we had given a great deal of thought to finding a way of keeping it in some portion as part of the farm. Ultimately, though, any kind of restoration looked like financial folly- even to the most ardent Eric Sloane fan.  In the end,  Ken Epworth and The Barn People of Windsor dismantled it for the barn board and timbers in it.  They are going to re-size the timbers (due to the significant rot in the connection joinery) and reconstruct part of the barn as an adjunct to the new Artistree Art and Performance Center that is being built up in Pomfret, Vermont.  So the original barn, in part, will still live. Sometime down the road when we really determine what our needs will be, there will be another barn on the Putnam Farm.

puts from hill

5/7/2013- a pile of dirt where once there was a barn…

The final piece of the puzzle will be the completion of a horizontal bore underneath the railroad track and  state Route 12-A for an irrigation line that will allow us to  get water from the Connecticut River. Once that is completed,  we can focus on working with the soil and actually growing crops.  It will be nice to have the money meter running (we hope) in the other direction.