Recycling an Old Foundation to
Make a Solar Heated Greenhouse & Compost Shed
The original Neal family home
(abandoned at the time) was destroyed by a tornado
in the late 1970's and was a repository for all
manner of junk fence posts, old corrugated roofing
and rusty barbed wire stacked about 6 feet deep.
One of the things often pondered when you buy an old
farm is what to do with what was left behind by the
We hauled away the refuse and the
foundation sits to the side of the property edged by
weeds and covered in the rotting remains of old wood
and a few of the original foundation stones used to
support the perimeter of the old house.
Pardon the slightly blurry photo, this was taken too
early in the morning in low light.
You might be encouraged to see what
a little sweat equity can do. The foundation
is in good shape considering its age and exposure to
the elements and will make a dandy foundation for a
greenhouse and composting shed.
Just off the bottom left corner of
this photo was a large pile of rocks overgrown with
elm saplings and multi flora roses. I didn't
get a shot of the before view but here is what we
relocated from the middle of the pasture to the
Some of the stones are well over 200
pounds and will make good foundation stones for some
other project not yet dreamed up by the boss.
You can see the old foundation location at the top
center of this photo.
Amidst the stones we also recovered
about 140 antique hand made bricks which were
probably used as the structure of the chimney in the
old house. When we cleaned off the foundation
and surrounding ground (without taking on the rock
pile) we found another 140 or so antique bricks so
we have enough to do ANOTHER project not yet dreamed
up by the boss.
The bald spot created from the
removal of the rock pile and leveling and filling of
the holes left behind has been temporarily seeded
with sunflowers, Shasta daisies, California poppies
and purple cone flowers. These will make
something pretty to look at until we get the bald
spot over-seeded with rye before winter sets in.
More about the solar heated
greenhouse plans will follow shortly. The
wheels of invention are turning and may need a
little axle grease.