"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

July 27, 2017

Historic New York Barns

As we've driven around upstate New York we've seen a lot of wonderful old barns and beautiful farms. Agriculture is a major component of the New York economy and the Finger Lakes region is the center of that business. There are over 35,000 farms in New York and the state is a top-ten national producer of cow milk, apples, grapes, onions, sweet corn, tomatoes, and maple syrup. So anyway...as we've driven around I started wondering why are barns usually painted red? So here's what I found on the Internet.

Many years ago, choices for paints, sealers and other building materials did not exist. Farmers had to be resourceful in finding or making a paint that would protect and seal the wood on their barns. Hundreds of years ago, many farmers would seal their barns with linseed oil, which is an orange-colored oil derived from the seeds of the flax plant. To this oil, they would add a variety of things, most often milk and lime, but also ferrous oxide, or rust. Rust was plentiful on farms and because it killed fungi and mosses that might grow on barns, and it was very effective as a sealant. The rust turned the mixture red in color. When paint became more available, many people still chose red paint for their barns in honor of tradition.
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Instragram or Google+.

No comments:

Post a Comment