Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Joys of Free Lumber


As me and Brady received the Mother Earth News for quite a few years, we saw many articles touted on it's covers with catchphrases that said you could build your own home or farm buildings for a very small price. The first few times we saw such covers, we excitedly opened the magazine and began reading. Sadly, many of these articles were examples of people doing exactly what the article stated, but with much different circumstances than our own. Harvesting your own wood off your back acres for free lumber just doesn't work when you are living in the 'burbs, and if you don't know someone will an old barn with wood you can reclaim, then you are out of luck. We would sigh, and continue to look at large parcels of land that we could not afford.  Apparently, we needed more money before we could live cheaply.  Pretty soon those promises of debt free living were met with the same disdain that I give the magazines at the grocery checkout declaring that they have the secrets to get me bikini ready in four weeks. Mother Earth News does have many great articles, but the ones of this variety are not among them in my opinion.

There has also been a lot made of reclaiming old wood, such as pallets, to make cheap projects. We love this idea.....and so do many other people. Especially with the popularity of Pinterest and it's siren's call of craftiness, more people than ever are trying to get their hands on free pallets and lumber.  

If there is one thing I have learned from looking, it is that finding project wood is much harder when you really want it. It is kind of like easily finding something you were searching for the week previously. Or possibly you can find it, but is driving an hour's distance really worth it? 

I was checking my phone after leaving Costco last week and was extremely excited to see someone listing on Facebook that they had quite a few sections of wood fencing available for free, and only a few minutes away from where I was. I happily drove over and loaded all I could in the back of my car. I went back shortly after with a truck, a teen, and some work gloves to grab as many as we could fit in the truck bed. It is not pretty, but the boards are mostly in decent shape, and it was free! 

So what will become of these piles of old fencing? Some may go towards building the giant chicken run that we have planned, or perhaps make a sheep shelter. In the meantime, my farm girl heart is happy to have the goal of finding free old lumber realized. It gave me enough of a thrill that I suspect I may be scoping out Craiglist and Facebook garage sale groups even more now.