Snow + Roofs = Bad Things

In General Farm News on February 5, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Right up front, let me say that I am not expecting any of our barn roofs to cave in. I think that we re fairly good shape to get through this next ice storm, even with the preexisting two plus feet of snow.  Frankly I am more worried about the house roof, but that is a different matter…

Barns all around us have been caving in, and taking animals’ lives.  Ken Herzig lost a couple of cows in Colrain when one of his barns’ roofs collapsed under the immense weight of the snow. Up in Putney (which is really not that far away – about 35 minutes drive North into Vermont), two barns, from two different farms – only 500 yards apart –  on the same road (!) collapsed, killing twelve calves from one of the farms.  Down in Connecticut many barns have collapsed, notably one of them housing 85,000 laying hens.  Mostly local barns that are falling are those belonging to  small family farms — and obviously the CT chicken farm, Kofkoff Egg Farm, is a factory farm.  They have had many run-ins with underpaying their employees, and last December suffered a large fire in a “vacant” barn. Kofkoff  it is part of a four farm conglomerate that produces all of the eggs for Trader Joe’s, and produces 12 million eggs weekly.  Who would have thought that Trader Joe’s sources CAFO eggs? But they are sort of local, and I bet they are economical. Ick.

Snow. It is so beautiful, and fun for the kids. I personally love snowshoeing. Many local businesses make a living from good snow years with touring and skiing, and all manner of outdoors recreation. But the effect of snow on the small farmer is just overwhelming. Let me rephrase that. The effect of snow on property owners is just overwhelming.  Houses are collapsing, porches are being flattened.  It is no one’s fault that the sheer volume of the weight of the snow load overwhelms the carrying capacity of buildings this year. Unless of course, you have a flat roof and live in New England. In that case, shame on you.

Will we ever see Spring? What will happen? Just how deep can mud get before you can’t call it mud anymore?

Just to recap: Wells Tavern Farm has two main barns: one Side Gabled with a Dutch Lap Slate Roof, and the other  is a 1980’s Gambrel, with very steep angles.  We are in pretty good shape, knock on wood.

* * * Meet us and pick up a Roasting Chicken or other meat when we attend a Winter Farmers market in Bernardston in two weeks! * * *

1st Annual Dennis Roth Memorial Farmers’ Market & Health Fair
To benefit the Oncology Department at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Market will include: veggies, eggs, maple syrup, meat products, salsa and apples.

Health Fair: blood drive, yoga, hearing testing, and zumba (health fair by donation).

Held at: The United Church of Bernardston, Church Street in Bernardston, Massachusetts

Date & Time: Saturday, Feb. 19th from 9 am to 2 pm.

Don’t want to wait until February 19th for a Roasting Chicken or Sweet Italian Sausage from our happy heritage breed pastured pigs? Shoot us an email or call! We’d be happy to assist!  carrie (at sign) wellstavernfarm (dot) com  or call (413) six two five two seven nine seven.



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