St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mass Destruction on the Farm!

With a few days in the 40s coming up, we finally are thinking the maple syrup season is coming along.  Normally we tap about the 15th of March and the trees run a week or two later, however one is never sure.  2012 was a bust year as March was very warm and that year February would have been the tapping month.  Since then we have been worried about the earlier springs we have been seeing lately. 

Decided to tear down the 1949 corn crib on the farm and burn it to make syrup.  The crib was no longer repairable having lost its roof and rotted out a few years before we moved here in 2013.  

After lots of work repairing and cleaning it was rather fun to go into mass destruction mode.  I filmed it all and put some excerpts on my Youtube channel.  

This video is at Corn Crib Comes Down

The channel is River Road Rambler Youtube Videos

Now I have to clean up the concrete pillars and the junk dumped under it for the past 65 years.  Supposedly there are some Harley Davidson parts under there.  I already found an old catalytic converter.  

The crib was Dad's second building project on the farm.  In 1948 he built a new garage/granary so he could tear down the old rotten granary, a house from up the road moved down in winter to serve at the granary.  Using lumber from this old building he reused it in his first corn crib.  It was in use until the 80s when Dad quit farming.  It's deterioration came from building a leanto on to the garage/granary right tight against one side of the crib, and the water and lack of air flow rotted that side off.  

A genuine Standard Oil brand barrel with the other rubble left behind.  Part of the crib roof is frozen into the top of the leanto and will need to melt loose.  No Harley parts yet, but lots of rubble to remove from 65 years of tossing things under the crib.  It stood on cement piers about 16 inches above the ground for rodent proofing and better drying.  Corn cribs were slated with air spaces to let the winds blow through and keep the ears of corn dry.

Treasure under the crib included a full spool of corn planter check wire.  The wire has a "knot" every 42 inches. It was spread across the corn field and each trip of the planter the wire fed through it along the way and triggered a drop of 3 kernels of corn in a "hill."  The purpose was to make it so you could cultivate the field the normal way and again at right angles and get rid of the weeds in the pre-Roundup spray era.  Probably don't have a corn planter that it will work on anymore, so brother Marv will get it to put by the old one he has in his machinery line. 

Dragged the crib parts to the edge of the field and big brush pile.  I will take some of it for firewood and burn the rest if I ever get enough courage to burn the brush pile --too close to the house and overhead electrical wires.

The crib was about 16 feet long with one end open as an access area with removable short boards inserted to block or access the opening and the other with a small opening near the top.  We shoveled ear corn from the corn picker wagon into the crib from the ends.  Lots of memories of wearing out scoop shovels pitching corn by hand.  In later years we had an elevator to hoist it in through a hole in the roof.