Friday, April 8, 2011

The Barn of Many Uses

What do the following things have in common:
Skate board park, chicken farm, metal shop, music recording studio, organic tomato farm?

The name of this post gives it away. They've all been  housed in the Barn of Opportunity.  Do you think Earl Hobart could imagine these goings-on when he built this barn for his chicken farm back in the late 1950’s?

David Berry bought the barn when the former owner and closed his chicken business. Among other ideas, David had plans to fill the barn with sawdust and sell Merrymeeting Ice to coastal fishing boats. Instead, he started the town recycling program in a small section of the barn. The town has been leasing space from David ever since, and as the solid waste and recycling program has expanded, the Barn has accommodated its needs.

In a building as large as this one, there is plenty of space for other projects.
Over the years, the barn has been storage for furniture, building supplies, artwork, and a collection of boats from the Apprenticeshop at the Maine Maritime Museum.  The bales of recyclables can be stacked and stored for shipping in tractor trailers.

In addition to chickens, this Barn has been home to pigs, horses, sheep and rabbits. Now the only (official) animal housed here is Tuckah the barn cat.  Cathy is his guardian angel.

David's greenhouse reaches up all three stories of the south side of the barn. It protects tomatoes which he sells from his Merrymeeting Farm market boat. It was the request for storage space from the Maritime Museum that lead David to be "matched" with his wooden sailboat Beth Alison, the boat which he takes to the coastal islands loaded with produce and baked goods each week in the summer. He convinced the museum folks years ago that the boat was better "stored" on the Bay than in his barn. They agreed.

This week David's tomatoes looked like this.

 But later this spring...

Summertime will bring luscious produce grown in this great spot.  A happy customer blogged about the market boat here.

Rich soil.
Rich history.