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A grain silo bed and breakfast

May 29, 2013
By Sharon Root , Marshall Independent

Lyon County recycling education coordinator

There's no doubt in the little bit of mind I have left that my little bit of mind barely functions anymore! It's very frustrating when I get up from a comfortable position, walk two or three steps from the chair/couch, stop and say to myself, "Where was I headed/what was I going to do?"

Anyway, the reason forgetfulness was brought up is becauseI forgot why. Just kidding! On numerous occasions between writing a column I read/hear about things and think "oh, I'm going to write about this" and then the thought flits away only to be replaced by another, "oh, I want to tell them about this." I could make a list, but I'd forget where the list was anyway so it wouldn't help! Oh well, I never have to look far to find something to share.

Last time, we talked about using something other than for its intended purpose, namely tiling a floor with pennies. (I'm still waiting for someone to give me enough pennies so I can redo my countertop. Of course, then someone would actually have to redo the countertop for me as I'm not very patient.) This month I'm going the "re-use route" too, but only in this case it's about whole structures.

There's room for describing one unique reused structure today, and it'll be appreciated by a lot of folks because we live in an agricultural area. It's a grain silo bed and breakfast! This guy converted three used silos into "five circular suites with a lobby and parlor, perfect for gathering with other guests." Not only is it a cool looking B & B, it's also got great environmental amenities - No. 1 being it's a useful structure that didn't have to be built with all new construction materials. And in addition, it was done with energy efficiency in mind, e.g. the concrete floors feature a radiant heating system.

Because of the system, they warm the whole building with one gas-fired 50- gallon hot water tank. They used expanding foam insulation between the metal silo exterior and the interior walls, creating what the lady of the house calls "the world's largest thermos." That "thermos" effect results in very low utility billsa big plus for sure! Aside from the overall relaxing atmosphere offered by staying at the B and B (views include a wetlands habitat and a pasture filled with sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas), a lot of what you'd dine on is "shipped" no more than 80 to 100 feet from the source. It's a working farm that provides the eggs, cheeses, fruits and vegetables that are used for the guests' meals.

If you want to see the pictures and read more about The Abbey Road Farm Bed and Breakfast in Oregon, visit Hey, if you decide to go to the B & B can I go along? I want to use the Jacuzzi (each suite has one) and then sit on the deck with a glass of wine and watch the cute alpacas and the little goats that try to climb trees in the pasture I'll be a good travelerI promise!

Tune in next time to read about another unique "remodel job."

Keep reducing, reusing, recycling and buying recycled! For info or if your club is interested in a presentation (free) regarding recycling/waste reduction and hazardous waste disposal, call the Lyon County Environmental Office at 532-8210.



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