Monday, March 20, 2017

Milk House Update

THIS ?                                                                    OR THIS?       (

First, my apologies for such infrequent blogging again. I know some of you find it nearly impossible to get on with your own lives without knowing what's going on with mine. I'll get better...or I won't. I'm also had these annoying Blogger issues with many more spam comments being made now, than in the last 7 years I've been blogging. What a mess. You would think for all I pay Blogger for this blog...oh yeah, it's free...never mind.

So, an update on our milk house project, the building we hoped to construct with the used tires left on The Poor Farm, so they would not end up in a land fill like the millions of tires already there.  The new building we'd  use for cleaning and storing our milking equipment, for storage of our chest freezers (currently in the 1865 shack house on the property) and for a root cellar area to store all our canned goods, potatoes, apples  and onions. The building we could use in part as a green house for earlier garden starts and extended garden growth.

Yes, THAT building.

Well, after completing the seven page BUD (Benefit Use Determination) application for the Illinois EPA (environmental protection agency) and mailing it in and waiting and waiting and emailing and leaving voicemail messages, and waiting for a response, we finally got one.

They said no.

Actually what they said was, the project was being denied because we did not get an engineer to sign off on it. When I explained again how small the project was, how it was for our own use, how all we wanted to do was convert some of the tires left here into a useable, attractive, inexpensive, ecologically friendly storage building, they responded:

Even if you are only building a dog house with those tires you need to involve an engineer.

Once again our state government demonstrates their common sense approach to all things slightly unusual. Rather than allow us to do something productive with the rubber circles on our property, rather than accept the internet searching I submitted about the benefits of building with these materials, they want us to pay an engineer at approximately $100-$300 an hour to tell them the same information.

Also, the gentleman who called me with the BUD application denial information, made it very clear they had ninety days to approve or disapprove an application, implying of course, that our proposed project, if ever approved, might not get the go ahead for several months.

So much for our budget, (which was only $5000 to begin with) so much for our time frame of building the milk house this summer, and so much for common sense. But, as good homesteaders will often do, we've rolled out plan B. As it evolves, I'll tell you about it and don't worry about the plans for using the tires, we're not giving up, we're just reworking our plans for initiation next summer instead of this summer.

We're thinking of building a church with those tires, claiming religious immunity from overreaching rules and regulations. If it's good enough for Mel Gibson it's good enough for me.

Before I go, a couple other fun tire facts for Illinois. You can only haul or transport nineteen tires at one time without a license to do so. Thus if you are hauling TWENTY tires to your grandkids house for a playground project you better do it late at night, take the back roads, wear a red wig, and drive with your lights off.

Also, you can only keep fifty or less tires on your property without a tire storage permit. If you have fifty-one tires you must have the storage permit which requires you to keep them all covered and/or inside of a building, because we all know that forty nine tires harboring mosquitoes is so much better than fifty. Which all begs the question, if Illinois EPA would allow us to build our building, where all the tires would be filled with dirt and NO mosquitoes could breed in them, wouldn't the tire storage issue solve itself?

Finally, I discovered this little number on the internet and I had to wonder, what engineer signed off on that and how could I get his number? Oh wait, this is probably an California design not an Illinois one.

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