The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Storage shed solution

Rubbermaid medium size plastic resin shed

We put together a storage shed this afternoon.

It's one of those plastic resin Rubermaid kits.

Total cost was around 360 dollars. Anna worked 3 hours and I came along at the end and helped for an hour. It comes with a nice 37 page instruction book and it all fit in a box the size of a coffin.

We talked about maybe building something out of wood, but our recent high grade chicken feed purchase put us in a spot where we needed storage fast, and this was the quick and easy route.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Did you put in a solid floor, and are there no gaps between the walls and the floors? I'm guessing all that food will attract mice, rats and other critters like crazy. Especially mice seem to be able to get through really small holes.

I once lived in a building that had both mice and ants, so I developed the habit of putting all foodstuffs that were not in the fridge in closed metal, glass or plastic containers. That works very well w.r.t. spoilage, and keeps stuff fresh as well.

Maybe it would be a good idea to move the contents of at least opened bags to a big pail with a tight lid.

But I wonder why one would need 37 pages of instructions to put that together?! Unless it's one page in 37 languages. :-)

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Apr 10 19:27:21 2012

Roland --- Yeah, we're a bit concerned about that possibility. Our friends have tried various solutions to the rodent problem, and ended up just putting traps in with their feed and emptying the dead rodents out regularly. We'll keep an eye on the situation and report back if we have to raise the stakes.

The 37 page instruction manual was a bit overkill, but it was actually kinda nice. Half a page of nicely drawn illustrations for each step. I didn't get confused at all.... :-)

Comment by anna Tue Apr 10 19:49:53 2012
When we were doing cat rescue and caring for a group of feral cats, we kept all of the dry food bags in metal trash cans with tight fitting lids, and further clamped the lids down with bungee cords. We never had a problem with mice, rats,or raccoons (or even bugs) getting into the food. The cans were kept out in our "barn" (really just a large carport) near where the cats' houses were. Just a thought, if you want to be really certain that nothing is going to get into that food, as mice can get through very small holes, and some rodents (rats, maybe) will chew through plastic if they can tell that there is food inside. Good luck! :)
Comment by Ikwig Tue Apr 10 23:13:49 2012

Those woods in the background with all the spring greenery and light filtering through make for a beautiful image. Congrats on the new shed!

~ Mitsy

Comment by mountainstead [] Wed Apr 11 11:18:12 2012
Ikwig --- We use metal trashcans for chicken feed once it gets back to our living area. They're great --- you can even leave them out in the weather right beside the pasture fence! But you can really only fit one bag in each can (or two if you open them and pour the contents in.) A line of 11 trash cans seemed a little silly, but actually might have been cheaper....
Comment by anna Wed Apr 11 12:19:17 2012
Mitsy --- I know! I really love the spot where we park our cars --- it's very wooded and calm.
Comment by anna Wed Apr 11 15:54:38 2012

While I could imagine a rodent gnawing its way through a plastic pail, no rodent is going to gnaw through galvanized steel! But a tight-fitting lid is important against ants and to not attract unwanted attention. And using bungee cord to keep the lid shut is a trick to remember!

A strip of self-adhesive rubber foam around the inside of the lid would probably work well to seal a loose fitting lid, though.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Apr 11 16:02:17 2012

Roland --- We've actually had pretty good luck with our non-bungee-corded on lids. We might see an ant or two, but they don't see to be a real issue with chicken feed. I suspect the grains are just too dry?

On the other hand, that's right in our yard where bigger critters aren't going to come by and try to get in. I'm sure a raccoon would make short work of our garbage can. (That reminds me --- we probably should get a lock for our storage building to keep out the coons!)

Comment by anna Wed Apr 11 17:52:31 2012
A "dead" deep freezer is a good place to store feed. A freezer could go inside your shed.
Comment by Anonymous Sun Apr 15 23:18:43 2012
Anonymous --- We've actually got two dead freezers that could be used that way. They're not quite waterproof because of faulty seals, but using them inside a shed is a great idea! If not out at the parking area, we could put them in the barn for feed storage.
Comment by anna Mon Apr 16 07:58:42 2012

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