Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Archaeology at the Farm

Hate is a strong word, but I have HATED the industrial, pressed cardboard ceiling in my living room since the day I moved into my farmhouse. I won't go into the semantics of why it wasn't ripped out before now. Several years ago when it started to sag, I requested its removal. But like everything else at the time, instead of being fixed properly, it was propped up (improperly) with some old iron support stars and glued back (unsuccessfully) into place.

But lately, it's been sagging more & more. "Should I fix it?" I questioned myself. But the answer was obvious. No, I would deal with it when the first tile fell. Not only did the first tile fall, it brought down eight others with it. It was time.
While the ultimate goal is to expose the beams, I was not prepared to deal with tearing out a horsehair plaster ceiling, nor did I want to. That task is delegated to my demo-loving buddy from the city who is more than happy to wreak havoc in exchange for some awesome food. This hole was by far the ugliest blemish on the entire project thus far. Taking out the tiles was fairly easy, quick and painless. It took about an hour with the help of my young neighbor gal who graciously hoofed out the panels by the tote load to a wheelbarrow for transport to the burn pile. (Ladies, can you say another 'farm gals gone wild' bonfire?)
My ceilings have always seemed strangely low and now I understand why. Just removing the cardboard tiles has put another four inches of vertical living space in that room. It's awesome and I can't wait to expose more.
Sure, the runners for the suspended tiles are ugly and so it the vintage silver wall paper, but what's another month or two of this crap?
Ah, the 'treasures'! There's a big hickory tree a few hundred feet away from the house, yet I found oodles of empty hickory nuts stashed on top of the suspended tiles, along with LOTS of mouse crap and even a dead mouse skeleton.With enough space to get my hand into the void, I was able to shoot a few pictures of what will be exposed when the project is completed. Those are 8' beams which means I will gain a full vertical foot in the living room. Awesome!
The big stink about tearing out the ceiling was always 'you'll expose the wires'. Well, here's the wire. BFD.
Lovely American Chestnut beams.

Come on, is this really all that bad for a few weeks compared to the awesome beauty about to be exposed?
Look at all that space I was missing!
When I was tearing out the ceiling my helper astutely noticed, "You're having a really fun time doing this." Indeed, I was.