A silo is one of those things that makes a farm…a farm. Take a short drive through the countryside and you can see them dotting the landscape everywhere. I have always loved the sight of silo’s, and always wanted to find a way to incorporate one into our little farm.
Now it’s true, we don’t have cattle to feed – and a silo may be a bit large to hold just the chicken feed for our small flock. But I think we may have come up with a way, just like the “big farms”, to make a silo become one of the most useful structures on our farm.
A few weeks back – we did a post on collecting fall leaves and making compost. Although we have our 6′ two-bin compost system up above the garden – they fill quickly in the fall with the garden clean up material. For our big batch of fall leaf compost, we have then always made a temporary corral fence right in the garden. It’s a good system, but we are limited to how much compost we can make and store before we need our garden space back in the spring. And that is where the silo enters the picture. Why not combine the wish of having a farm silo…with the need to collect and create more leaf compost to use throughout the whole summer!
Hence…The Compost Silo Project
It’s the perfect aesthetic solution to holding tons of shredded leaf compost and gives me an argument to why we should have one without Mary thinking I have finally lost my mind. :). Actually – she’s on board with me in thinking our farm needs a silo too.
With that established…where to get a silo on the cheap?
Our first thought was to find an unused or abandoned one that we could recycle onto our property. So – a few weeks back we set out on a Saturday morning for a long drive through the countryside. It was a beautiful drive, and we saw some incredible farms and silos as well. And with each and every single stop we checked out – it became pretty apparent that we were biting off way more than we could chew.
You know…silo’s are so much bigger in person than I ever realized!!! Even the “small” ones we found are a bit big for our farm’s scale. So, as we drove home that day – I began to think about finding and using recycled material to build our own smaller scale silo that fits the need of our farm.
The solution – design a “smaller scale” silo – using as many reclaimed materials as we can to build it on the cheap. We still have decent quantities of salvaged metal stored to use to make the roof -and plenty of lumber left over to build the bones of the structure.
For now it’s all worked out on paper – we hope to have a 6 foot diameter silo – that will stretch up to 12′ at the apex of its curved roof. It will have a top door for loading up material – and a bottom door for getting out fresh loads of compost. We will locate it at the top of the garden and put it beside the existing 2 bin compost system and water tank to overlook the farm and garden. And yes, we are even going to add the farm’s logo across the mid section to make it look like the “big farm” silos 🙂 When completed, it should be able to hold just over 275 cubic feet of composted leaves – which will be almost 6 times what we have ever been able to make before. And of course – the ultimate goal will be achieved…our little farm will have it’s silo.
We will keep you updated in the coming weeks on it’s progress.