Charm of the Horse Farm

by walt barlow on 12/01/14

We’ve been racing from one job to the next this year and have finally gotten a chance to catch up on blog posts. Sometimes we find ourselves in lonesome hollers and blustery ridges far removed from just about any place you might be able to find, but late this summer we found ourselves in what might best be described as regal. Here in Central Kentucky you will find the most storied farms in horse racing history, and they all charm visitors who travel here and tour them. We drive by them nearly every day, and for a few of them, we nearly always wonder what they look like beyond the view from the road. Well, we were fortunate to disassemble the fencing for one of our favorite farms, one that from the road has piqued our curiosity so many times we’ve lost count.
Storied horse farm viewed from public road
When we first drove past the farm gate, each of us caught ourselves practically gawking at the champion horses, immaculately manicured grounds, palatial horse barns, pristine ponds, and vistas that stretched down to a beautiful creek. After taking in the luxurious setting we focused on the miles and miles of horse fencing that needed to be removed so that new fencing could go up. Now if you don’t already know about horse fencing at these prestigious horse farms, they are almost always made up of heavy-duty posts with four runs of oak boards facing each side both sides of the fence. After many years, usually a couple of decades, these fences must be replaced for the safety of the prized horses, who contribute to the aging by rubbing against them and oftentimes chewing boards. It is this aging by both horse and weather that gives the oak its character and creates a one-of-a-kind floor once we have processed and milled it.
Horse farm fencing
Disassembling all of those miles and miles of horse fencing do not come easy, even though the beautiful scenery made the hard work a joy. A typical day involved starting early in the morning as the sun rose over the rolling hills, tramping through the dew-laden paddocks and fields and cutting the fence boards free from the posts. Then as the day progressed and the sun had burned the dew off, picking up the boards, stacking them, and hauling them away for processing and milling. Then came days of removing and hauling away the posts, which proves to be some of the most grueling work we do. There’s a trick to pulling a post like there are tricks to most anything, but we haven’t found a trick for all of the bruises and sore muscles that come along with the work.
View of creek from a horse barn on top of hill
We’re happy to say that we now have Thoroughbred Oak Flooring ready for your next project and know that it will bring the charm and luxury of the horse farm to any room.
Many Moons Design Thoroughbred Flooring

Many Moons Unveils New Web and Mobile Sites

by walt barlow on 02/28/13

In order to serve our customers better, we at Many Moons Design decided that it was time to perform a sweeping overhaul to our website:

We engaged in a detailed assessment of the state of our web presence before launching a massive market research campaign in order to learn how we could serve our customers more thoroughly, and more efficiently. We distilled that information into a data collection strategy which was then carried out over the 3 months, and went on to create a comprehensive resource dedicated to reclaimed wood.

This latest incarnation was designed to present our customers with all the information needed to make informed decisions when it comes to our superior quality reclaimed wood products. It features high-resolution images, and detailed historical and environmental information for each of the many species we have available on a regular basis.

For the first time ever we take you step by step through our projects, from the farm to your floor. We documented the entire reclamation process from the historical significance of the various types of wood, provide detailed accounts of the original milling techniques, then explain and illustrate the process we employ to deconstruct and remove these structures which have outlived their intended purposes. You can then witness us breathe new life in these materials, as we provide an unparalleled glimpse inside our mills via a series of videos shot by cofounder Tommy Whittaker.

The detailed explanations of the wide-ranging additional services we provide will ensure you are informed of all the options available to you while customizing your dream home. You can browse previously complete projects to help define your personal aesthetic preference, read the testimonials provided by satisfied customers, and stay informed of our award winning, and news-making flooring projects via our press page. Our blog takes it one step further by not only giving a candid look at some of our favorite projects throughout the installation process, it gives detailed historical analysis of the environmental, anthropological, and socio-political factors inherent to each piece of wood, and testify to the importance of the reclamation process.

Deforestation: Learning from Our Mistakes (Part 1)

by walt barlow on 02/25/13

Deforestation, or the permanent destruction of forests and woodlands, is a serious and ongoing environmental issue that attracts protests from environmentalists, both in the United States and abroad.  As nations develop, more and more of the planet’s old growth forests are cleared away to provide growing populations with both space, and raw materials. However, as the boundaries of our cities advance, the biodiversity inherent to these preexisting ecosystems is being forced into hasty retreat. While the ecological implications of our actions are not always readily apparent at the time, this two-part exploration of this practice’s history will reveal just how detrimental we can be to the finely tuned equilibrium we hold with our environment.

Prior to the arrival of European-Americans about one half of the United States land area was forest, about 4,000,000 square kilometres (990,000,000 acres) in 1600, yet today it is only about 3,000,000 square kilometres (740,000,000 acres). The United States is the world’s leading producer and consumer of forest products and accounts for about one-fourth of the world’s production and consumption. The United States is also the world’s largest producer of softwood and hardwood lumber.

The 2005 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Global Forest Resources Assessment ranked the United States as seventh highest country losing its old growth forests, a vast majority of which were removed prior to the 20th century. However, it doesn’t take a great deal of examination to see that our tracts untouched land areas are still steadily diminishing, as we gradually compromise nature’s ability to repair the damage we inflict.

But that can’t be, can it? “Nature finds a way” is how that axiom goes, right?  She’ll bounce back. After all, isn’t nature…well…in Mother Nature’s..nature?

Unfortunately for us, the short answer is a yes with a but, while the long answer is more of a no with an if. That is to say, at the end of the day she’s the one holding the deeds to the property, meaning if the terms of lease are violated enough it is we, not she, who are subject to eviction.  

The evidence can be found…right back here…in one month’s time…

In our next entry we’ll be filling you in on some of our exciting new undertakings, and then tune back in for part two on two on this subject two weeks after that. We’re going to take an in depth look at the mysterious 1300-year-old petri dish of an island that’s been associated with everyone from ancient astronauts to Atlanteans, but was in fact the product of a society that was developed themselves right out of a home when they failed to discern the correlation between their shrinking tree-line, and some ecological phenomena which is eerily similar to that which we are starting to experience right now. You won’t want to miss it!

We’ll even give you a hint:

Eclectic Tastes and Reclaimed Resources in Louisville's NuLu District

by walt barlow on 01/22/13

After 15 years of business, AlterEgo Apparel recently relocated to a freestanding, two-story building in the heart of Louisville’s NuLu district, the emerging East Market Street retail/restaurant/arts district just east of the downtown. The offbeat cultural mecca where their new home, originally built in the 1860’s, stands features converted warehouses used as local breweries, antique shops and offers the city’s most trendy food and fashions.


AlterEgo doesn’t offer run-of-the-mill (or should we say run-of-the-mall) fashions. Their inventory primarily consists of two high-end European brands, and custom-made ensembles which are produced in-house, as well as one of kind artisan jewelry. A setting where people who love art and design come to find exciting fashion, food, and furnishings will serve to connect AlterEgo with the eclectic women who make up their target audience—a demographic which is more focused on the arts and creativity, than concerned with price point.


The new location seems to be an ideal fit; however, as with any building of that era, renovations can be both sweeping, and highly involved. After asbestos abatement and structural stabilization, a custom-tailored space took shape, which provides both a ground-level sales floor and a second-story production studio, with an open atrium connecting the two.  We were ecstatic when they decided such a beautiful space, not to mention the revitalized district in which it’s located, were a perfect match for our Kentucky Thoroughbred Oak flooring, which is made of wood reclaimed from the fencing of horse farms in the area.  Additionally, their decision to use prefinished wood drastically reduced the time needed for installation. Actually, the entire job only took one day to complete, which was surely a relief considering all the time and energy demanded by a restoration project of this magnitude!


You can learn more about AlterEGO Apparel on their Facebook page, or reach them at (502) 426-2435. Be sure you stop in next time you’re in the area, or whenever you get a craving for a taste of the elegant and unconventional. They’re located at, 811 East Market Street!

When the Old becomes New

by walt barlow on 01/22/13

Do you know your floor’s history? Who walked it a generation ago, and what building materials can say about an industry or its community?


For 40 years, a particular cooperative warehouse for independent tobacco growers thrived in Central Kentucky for 40 years until a shift in the economy closed its doors forever. The size of tobacco’s role in Kentucky’s economy can’t be overstated, as is evident by the scale of our Barnchasers’ current project.


What kind of scale are we talking about? The vast 100,000 square feet structure spans three acres, and will yield about 160000 ft of reclaimed lumber, making it the largest deconstruction we’ve ever undertaken. However, greater still was what this building represented to its community since it was erected in the mid 1960s. It served as a cornerstone of the area’s economic foundation by providing autonomous farmers with a venue to earn an equitable wage while selling their crops free of contract.


The beams and boards that once helped support a community’s welfare will readily satisfy any structural or aesthetic design you’re faced with. All of the LEED Certified materials removed from this site are of an exceptional quality, and the lumber recovered will gain new life as your beautifully sophisticated flooring, continue to provide support in your traditional Timberframe construction, and lend its own history to yours when installed as decorative beams.


There will always be rapid change in our tumultuous economic climate, which can be offset through the use of reclaimed materials, and sustainable design. However, true value can be found when we preserve and perpetuate the legacy inherent to the material, becoming partners with the past.

Life is Good for Many Moons Design

by walt barlow on 01/22/13

Earlier this year, we participated in the annual Life is Good Outdoor Retailer Exhibition, and were pretty proud of the result. Using a tobacco barn that once stood on the banks of the Kentucky and Ohio Rivers, we created a display that combined design aspects native to the south, with themes prevalent in the Northeast to create a completely unique aesthetic sensibility.
We began by disassembling the historic structure, a two story modular timber frame barn with a loft, and reconstructed it within the Salt Palace Convention Center. Once built, we painted the entire repurposed structure red, white, and blue. Next, we accentuated the interior and facade with nautical elements commonly associated with destinations such as Cape Cod.
The resulting creation blends the handcrafted heritage of the South with the rich maritime tradition of the Northeast to create a style which is 50% historic, 50% cutting edge, and 100% American. The end product was so successful that Life is Good will be utilizing it to showcase their 2013 line to retailers across the country!

Reclaimed Flooring made from Waste Vegetable Oil?????

by walt barlow on 01/22/13

This does not even make sense...How can reclaimed flooring be made from Waste Vegetable Oil???  In our continuing efforts to be as eco-friendly as we can be, we are always looking for new ways to green our processes.  Recently, we teamed up with an Amish mill who already work without the modern conveniences the power grid provides.  They operate all of their machinery using a 6 cylinder Perkins diesel engine to power a series of hydraulic motors that operate the planers, ripsaws, and moulders that make each piece of our flooring and furniture!  Thanks to some local restaurants we have worked for over the years, we are recycling their waste vegetable oil from the fryers into a useable fuel for our woodworking operations! 
The mill was using around 100 gallons of diesel fuel a week to produce flooring and furniture, today, they are using about 5-10 gallons of diesel fuel, and up to 90 gallons of Waste Vegetable Oil.  The result...Still the most high end reclaimed flooring and furniture money can buy, but with a very friendly carbon footprint.  I repeat, NO ELECTRICITY, NO COAL, & MINIMAL DEPENDANCE ON OIL.
The estimated reduction in carbon emission goes from 4.98 metric tons of carbon, to .33 metric tons a year...can your reclaimed wood company say this???

Kudos to Chef Ouita Michel, our Green Champion for 2010!!!!

by walt barlow on 01/22/13

Wow...Need I say more!  Ouida Michel...What a green entrepreneur! 
When Ouida called on Many Moons to deliver an eco-friendly fitup to her new local first restaurant/country store, we could not resist.  Ouida wanted an interior and exterior decor that was as local as the food she would be serving.  She actually had the great idea to run barn siding horizontally for the exterior which turned our to be a fun challenge for Many Moons...We had the task of creating a siding material that would be easy to install, but still have the original weathered face and edge.  Check out the picture below!

We also wanted to provide the most eco-friendly flooring for the restaurant.  Our Throroughbred Oak was a perfect fit for a reclaimed floor.  The wood used to make the flooring came off of horse farms within 10 miles of the restaurant.  Click here to go to the Thoroughbred Oak flooring page.  If you are in Lexington, and want a great local eats, check out Windy Corner at the corner of Muir Station and Bryan Station Road.

Many Moons Teams up with Chad Cooper (One Tree Forest Films) to produce new video

by walt barlow on 01/22/13

It is with great pleasure that we bring to you the first, and definitely not the last video from Many Moons.  Over the summer of 2010, we were fortunate enough to pull Chad Cooper with One Tree Forest Films away from his day job to shoot two long days of video of the Many Moons Crew deconstructing an 1890's Hand Hewn Post and Beam barn located outside Cincinnati.  Chad blazed through unyielding brush and 90 degree temperature to get some amazing up close footage of this once graceful beauty coming down.  Kudos to Chad for his amazing talent in capturing the barn world through Tommy's eyes!
Also, a very special thanks to Paz Lenchantin, the unbelievable musician who made Chad's video dance!
Please visit Chad's website, as he has some great stories to tell!

Cradle to Grave. Grave to Table!

by walt barlow on 01/22/13

As the colors of the leaves change throughout the Blue Ridge mountains this Fall, we're constantly reminded that transformation is among us.  The beauty and lushness of vegetation wilts, becoming nourishing mulch and groundcover to care for next year's rebirth.  Nothing is wasted in nature.  Nothing is taken for granted.

There's a barn in northern Kentucky that is undergoing its Autumn, so to speak.  And we wanted our friends and sustainable design enthusiasts to see how the Many Moons transformation works, from beginning to end (or end to beginning?).

This video is Part I of the transformation process, narrated by our very own Tommy Whittaker.  Of course, Tommy being Tommy, you may also learn more than you bargained for along the way... Tommy loves to learn as much as he can about the history of the buildings we repurpose, the area and available wood and the current property owner.