The Farm Hand’s Companion Show & Pa Mac
Every now then someone comes along and makes education fun and entertaining. That’s exactly what you get from Gary “Pa Mac” McWilliams and The Farm Hand’s Companion Show! Pa Mac created this series of short videos to show all manner of folks how to do things for themselves…from farmin’ and gardenin’ to makin’ and buildin’.
Check out The Farm Hand’s Companion Website!
I’ve been following along on Pa Mac’s homesteading adventures for some time now and I always find his videos to be a cross between learnin’ and laughin’. If he just showed you how to make something, that would be pretty darn cool. But that’s not all he does…he makes you smile and feel like you just met up with your long lost homesteading brother. The Farm Hand’s Companion show also breaks projects down into step by step procedures that are easy to follow and understand. Which is a good thing, because each show is filled to the brim with good, old-fashioned information on things like what kind of trees are best for different homesteading projects and what apples are best for sauce and cider, or eating fresh from the tree. Just the kind of thing I enjoy reading about!
Now here’s a little bit about the video:
“In Volume 1 of The Farm Hand’s Companion Show, Pa Mac takes an undeveloped tract of land and begins to turn it into a traditional subsistence farm. So bring the whole family and come along for the fun to see how the best part of farming is not in the having…but in the doing!
Watch Pa Mac as he demonstrates through video, captions, photos, and illustrations (no dialogue):
- clearing land
- making some homemade lumber
- building an old-fashioned pole barn
- planting some heirloom apple trees
- building a small chicken house for a few overcrowded hens
… and more! The Farm Hand’s Companion Show is dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and developing old-fashioned skills of the traditional subsistence farm.”
For more information about The Farm Hand’s Companion Show, click here!
Building An Old-Fashioned Pole Barn – The Book
Now I’m not one to get all excited about a pole barn, just kidding, I do get excited about a pole barn…well, any barn really. But there’s something especially fascinating to me about building a pole barn on your homestead from materials you harvest from your own land. This is self sufficiency at its finest and that’s exactly what you’ll learn about from Gary, aka “Pa Mac,” when you read his book ‘Building an Old-Fashioned Pole Barn.’ In The Farm Hand’s Companion Show he shows you step by step how to raise your very own pole barn from trees felled on your land. In this detailed book he goes into the intricate details that would be pretty difficult to jam pack into short videos. Together, the book and video gives you all the information you need to go from uncleared land to a small farmstead with an ‘ornamental’ pole barn to house a workshop, livestock, hay and feed, or any other need you might have.
“It’s one of the most rustic and yet practical outbuildings on the farm, and rests on one of the most rudimentary types of foundations: poles planted vertically in the ground. Next to log structures, a “pole barn” type building can be one of the easiest of outbuildings to construct, and will serve quite well for a number of uses on the small farm or homestead: tool storage, a place for farm repairs . . . and most certainly shelter for livestock.
You’ll find these topics covered in “Building an Old-fashioned Pole Barn”:
- Acquiring pole barn construction materials (from your own homestead)
- Milling your own homemade lumber with a chainsaw and attachments
- Setting the poles and other basic carpentry methods in pole barn construction
- Practical ideas to finish out a pole barn for farm use
- Various other applications for pole barn structures on the small farm or homestead
With all kinds of new pole barn designs and materials on the market these days, some folks desire an outbuilding option that’s both practical and less expensive. In “Building an Old-fashioned Pole Barn”, Gary “Pa Mac” McWilliams demonstrates simple building tips and techniques for the “non-carpenter” farmer or homesteader.”
For more information about the book, click here!
Now I Want to Build a Pole Barn!
Honestly, I’m not that handy with building things…but watching Pa Mac’s dvd and reading through his book makes me feel like I could tackle this project. Well, with some help, ’cause this country gal is turning into an old grey mare. If I had the space and was planning to stay on this homestead longer, I’d be out measurin’ and markin’ up my pole barn spot. Pa Mac doesn’t make it look easy, but he does make it look do-able. And as he says, ‘It’s not in the having, it’s in the doing.’
I thoroughly enjoyed watching The Farm Hand Companion video and reading the book ‘Building an Old-Fashioned Pole Barn’ by Gary “Pa Mac” McWilliams! I especially enjoyed his little log cabin chicken coop, reading about his homesteading background, and drooling over the heirloom apple varieties he planted on his new homestead in Arkansas. ‘Pretty soon’ he’ll be enjoying those apples in a homemade pie!
So if you are interested in learning a bit more about doing this for yourself and laughing a little along the way, I highly recommend giving Pa Mac a gander!