When Millimeters Matter

What thrilling and tough weeks! We sent an abbreviated newsletter last week as we were without power, running what we could on the barn’s generator. We figured many of you were also out of power – some for more than a week. Yikes. We were relieved to get power back in time to host the Floating Bridge Food and Farms Cooperative Holiday Market, but also pleased that the generator could have guaranteed a smooth event regardless.

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All the colorful offerings of Cooperative colleagues, framed by the snow-laden landscape out the windows, made it feel Norman Rockwellish!

Best of all though was when conversations, playful snowshoeing and shopping, pizza and tea-tasting, and potato stamp wrapping-paper-making – melted away concerns about infrastructure.2014-12-13 12.41.41

Speaking of infrastructure! The team working on the barn has been going all out. Monday morning the crane arrived and the barn raising began, thanks to the snow removal and critical sanding of the town and Tom Sanders.  Who knew plows could slalom!

The barn and the barn raising process, like the farm itself, are a deliberate blend of 19th and 21st century methods, tools and know-how. The crane supports talented team members from Knob Hill Joinery to assemble the timbers, with their ancient cuts, recently made on site, coming together in a structure that is built to last — likely for centuries. It is inspiring to watch them guide and coax the timbers together and make it into a three dimensional space. (More photos on Flickr and videos on Vimeo of the barn raising, and more coming.)

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We often joke that hill farming is a game of inches, trying to squeak out value from every nook and cranny with diverse plantings and hand labor, in contrast to open acreage large tractor-based farms. Well, watching the timber frame team work to assemble the 26x70ft barn we marvel that theirs is a game of millimeters. Huge and heavy timbers, coming together without one drop of sleet’s room for error! We hope in today’s rain, the final purlins and rafters will fly in and the sub roofing will begin and soon enough we will be back to our normal snow removal footprint!


The Cooperative’s Slice of Life workshops and demos, which aim to enable Vermonters and visitors to participate, hands-on in Vermont’s working landscape will continue into the new year with cooking classes, tastings and tours. Meanwhile we love using this format to share with you a slice of farm life, Vermont life, the “good life”.  Let us know what you want to hear more about in 2015 and in the meantime, how we can help you prepare for festive and nourishing holidays for you and your loved ones!