A new year, new goats, and creamery progress
It's a new year here at Georges Mill Farm, and one we are sure will be filled with exciting new things- including opening our doors as a licensed creamery! In the whirlwind of researching and buying materials, the holidays, the arrival of new goats at the farm, moving, and the various everyday crises and solutions that come with all of that, 2012 completely got away from me. And just when I felt like I had finally gotten used to it being January, its already February! Time is flying by, which is both exciting and scary for me as I look forward to opening in a couple of months, and then think about all that still must be done.
While we have been blessed in many ways and been able to move forward easily with our construction due to the regulations and laws in our area, doing the construction all yourself slows things down mightily. I have found purchasing materials and equipment especially daunting since I knew little about tile, restaurant auctions, wall covering options for food processing facilities, or any number of other things, before this process began. While I have learned an immense amount about things I never thought I would understand so intimately, every step of the way has been a constant learning curve involving mild panic attacks that I bought the wrong thing after all.
Case in point: after lots of research and phone calls to various tile companies, I made a choice and ordered what came to 54 cases of quarry tile. In what seemed a stroke of genius at the time, I decided to save hundreds of dollars by picking the tile up at a warehouse in Baltimore. Just as I was patting myself on the back for having saved all that money, I got the call from the company informing me that my tile was ready and that it weighed approximately 3,300 pounds. Eep! That's more than any pickup truck we had access to could handle. Luckily, after a few frantic phone calls we were able to borrow a truck and trailer from a neighbor that could handle that much weight. Crisis averted- just another exciting day on the farm! We also decided to purchase a system called Schluter-Ditra, which provides both waterproofing under the tile and uncouples the tile system from the floor below it- this is important in our barn since we are on the second floor and wood inherently moves and shifts with climate and temperature changes. The Schluter will prevent our tiles from cracking during the transitions from humid, hot Virginia summers to cold, dry Virginia winters.
And so, after months of tripping over floor joists while we set the electric wires, ran the plumbing, and prepared the flooring to slope to a drain, we have a floor again! Which means that we can begin tiling- tomorrow in fact. This has been a huge looming project, and once its completed I will feel like we are really on our way. Hopefully I will discover a previously unknown talent for setting tile!