As most of our friends already know, we’ve decided to take the year off from the farmers’ market this season, to focus on getting our growing operations moved over from the old farm property we were renting on Foley Creek to the new property we bought on Gravel Creek. To that end, we’ve been working evenings this week taking down fence, pulling up posts, loading gardening tools, and hauling bags of soil amendments. Yesterday, however, was the climax of the activity… the toolshed.
When I built our toolshed almost three years ago, it was built with the idea that one day we might want to move it. Now, that day has come. After emptying it of its contents (which are now filling the back of my pickup), I set to work getting it off of its concrete block foundation. Even empty, the shed was far too heavy for me to lift, so using fenceposts as levers and a bottle jack from the truck, I jacked it up, pulled out the blocks, and set it on the ground. Next step: bolt each end of a chain to the wooden base at two corners. That done, I hooked another chain from the center of the first chain to another attached to the frame of my pickup, shifted into 4-low, and then… drug the shed a hundred feet to the road! You see, when I first built it, I made the bottom of the shed out of pair of 4×8 wooden beams, and I curved the ends like giant skis in anticipation of this day. I am pleased to announce, it worked… with only a few hang-ups, like getting it stuck in a big blackberry bush.
Once on the gravel road, we were half done. Enter: farm buddies! Jared and Jim from Nehalem River Ranch have a diesel dualie truck and a giant tilt trailer, and were willing to help out. They backed it up near the shed, then we switched to Egyptian technology, setting fence posts on their side to use as rollers to get the shed onto the trailer. There was a lot of grunting and heaving (Emily helped too) and in no time we were on the trailer and ready to roll.
At this point, I started worrying about a story my dad told me about something he saw in the 70s. We were stationed at Kincheloe AFB in upper Michigan at the time, and there is a lot of ice fishing that goes on in that part of the world. I am not super knowledgeable about such things, but I do know that an “ice shanty” is a critical part of the process… it’s a small wooden shed on skids, much like mine, but with no floor. From what I gather of stories told during my childhood, ice fishing consists of sitting in this shed all day, hiding from the brutal winds and snow, drinking beer and staring at a hole in the ice. Anyway, one day my dad was driving down the highway (to go ice fishing? Who knows!) and saw a car going the other way pulling a trailer with an ice shanty on it. At that moment, a gust of wind came up and lifted the ice shanty off the trailer, sending it high into the air much like the early scenes of The Wizard of Oz. I imagine the landing was far less successful than Dorothy’s.
As it turns out, I need not have worried. Jim and Jared were both liberal with the tie-downs and conservative with the driving, and we arrived safely at our new farm with shed intact. Then it was a simple matter of reconnecting the 4×4 to the chains on the shed, and dragging it off the back of the trailer into its new resting place. We toasted with some tasty limoncello I made for my birthday, and called it a day.