When I just took over the nursery, I overlooked many things in order to see the potential that the property had, but I think I might have underestimated the work involved in order to get the place up and running without any major structural capital inlay...
Here is a bit of the behind the scenes work that went into the prelude of opening the nursery floor to the public.
First of all, what do you do when you have two dilapidated wooden shacks, that are nothing more than a semi shell standing as a reminder of its former glory? Well you blindly jump in and start getting to work!
One thing that farm life has taught me, is how to be resourceful and make the most of what I have, and in this case it was a pile of wood, some wooden poles and some scrap old corrugated roof sheeting.
The idea was to convert one shack into a makeshift shop, and the other one into a tea garden kitchenette - easier said than done I'll have you know.
But lets take this one shack at a time, shall we?
I used quite a bit of wood cut to size in order to replace some of the wood that was completely rotten on the shacks, and after that was done and the structure was sturdy enough, the next focus was securing the shop so that we can stock it up with some basics and be able to lock the shop over-night when we left.
So I decided that some pull up doors would work perfectly and should be easy enough to build, I started by making very simple wooden frames, and then bolted some of the better looking corrugated roof sheets onto the frames, fitted them with butterfly hinges to the inside of the shop and BAM, the front section of the open shack now had doors.
In order to secure the doors when open, we made use of some small pullies that we attached to the roof structure on the inside of the shop so that we could raise the make shift shutter doors in order to maintain that open feel that the shack provided. then on the inside we drilled some holes into the counter tops and attached lock latches onto them so that we could lock the doors at night from the inside.
On the two sides of the shop we simply bolted some metal mesh, because here the pull up doors were not going to work (If I had more of that metal mesh, I would have done all the opening with that - I think it looks quite good.
And we even had enough scrap sheeting left to remove the old broken asbestos roof sheets and replace them with left over scrap tin roofing sheets that we didn't use to make the doors with.
The next thing we needed in the first shack was some table space, nice display height tables. so again I rummaged through piles of the scrap wood that I had collected for the purpose and found a few pieces that was sturdy enough for table legs, then cut them to size, for the table tops, I made use of some old doors that I had been given and nailed that straight onto the legs. Lastly I found some smaller wooden pieces and used that to sturdy the table legs - Now this might not be the pretties table, but for all practical purposes, it works.
On the day of the opening, I simply prettied it up by draping it over with some brightly colored material - we will make a more sustainable plan as time goes by :)
Now this shack was slightly easier, we simply painted the shack and patched it up a tiny bit, sanded down and painted the cupboard doors, lined the walls and the counter top with some metal sheeting that we were gifted with and riveted that down. we also created space for- and inserted a make shit basin in the back corner of the kitchen, currently we are working towards getting running water there...
As for the old deck - well we temporarily filled that in with a whole lot of scrap timber used as cross beams and then some wooden sheets nailed onto that - Not my proudest moment, but again for all practical purposes - it worked. In the mean time we are still sourcing the right timber in order to do the deck properly.
These were just a few of the internal projects that had to be done before the opening, all and all weeks of work went into getting everything to a functional state before the opening, and as per usual, life was throwing all kinds of curve-balls in my direction which restricted my time drastically.
But I believe that the worst is over, and now we can move along at our own pace, and improve on the structure as time goes by...
Just in case you missed it - here is a link to a short video I posted of the opening; simply click on the image below: