The barn has to go

The old barn was in a bad condition already when we moved here in 1991. First we thought it could be repaired, but soon realised it wasn’t possible. For a couple of winters our sheep and angora rabbits lived there in the winter, and later a neighbour kept their hens in it. But that part of the building was slowly turning dangerous, so this summer we decided to tear it down. Luckily for us, another neighbour has a business with sons and machines to do the job. It’s not quite finished yet, but we are impressed with what they’ve done so far. The boys have showed working skills ever since early childhood. But the times when they did construction work in the ditch next to our house are gone now, we had to confess. It seems like yesterday when I kept on eye on them so they wouldn’t hurt themselves or worse, drown in the ditch. Times pass so fast!

The roof tiles have been removed:

The stone walls have been removed. Some of the wood will be used for repairing the other barn that you can see in the background.

This used to be the hens’ nesting box:

Nostalgia at 7:30 pm a couple of days ago: so many animals have lived in this old barn ever since 1927, with a pause from the 70s until we moved here. That’s when the stone walls started to fall apart. So much work, so much stone! I remember the nights I spent with the ewes, waiting for the lambing to start. Their breathing, ruminating, and then – the labour. And then the lambs were born, mostly successful. A couple of times we needed the vet. I learned how to turn a lamb so it can be born with its front feet and head first. The wonderful sight of lively, curious lambs and content ewes. It’s several decades since we had a few pet sheep, but I still miss them. And I can still feel the smell and feel of a warm lamb in my lap.


The wooden half of the barn will be in use for many years still. It’s in good condition, but I fear for hubby who will build a new wall. The building is high, higher than our two story house! And he fears heights.

One plan is to plant berries here. Currants, gooseberries, perhaps one of the new berries that have been imported the last few years and found to survive here in the far north. And we’ll of course build a summer kitchen!

There was a LOT of stone in the barn. I think the heap behind the excavator is about 10x10x5 meter now. Some of the stone will be re-used for other purposes, but the heap is our new mountain! Hubby already dreams of a sledge slope. He isn’t quite grown up…

The beautiful, impressive crane birds are strolling in the fields on the other side of the house also this summer. I think they are young males, teenagers. Their dance looks more like capoeira than a proposal. But most of the time they just walk about looking for something to eat. Next year they will return with wives if all goes well. The grown up birds with families live in the woods behind the barn. We don’t see much of them until autumn when they gather for the long journey south.


  1. TextileRanger

    Such beautiful construction! I’m so glad you will be able to keep using the wooden half. Our barns here are just cheap metal shells — yours is a work of art. And I can see that taking it down properly is also an art.

  2. Marilyn F.

    Thank you for the nice story about your use of the old barn. I didn’t know you were a sheep and angora rabbit farmer too. Yes, it is sad to see these old buildings come down. We are losing a lot around here also. But glad part of the barn is still good. It would be wonderful to know all the stories the barn could tell about what went on in it over the years.

    • Barbro Heikinmatti

      Well, I was a full time librarian and the last 13 years at work I was chief librarian. We kept a few sheep as pets, so I don’t think you could call me a “farmer”… 🙂 We had 3-4 ewes and a ram, + the lambs that were slaughtered in the autumns. 30-40 angora rabbits could be called “farming”, I suppose. We also had 10-20 pet hens and a rooster. Moon light farming!

      • Marilyn F.

        Just a few sheep and a ram is what we call a backyard flock, but add that amount of rabbits and you could call it a farm – including the chickens!! You must have been very busy with the animals and your library position. Ah . . . the many things we did when we were younger. LOL.

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