I once had someone think I was a “farmer”? This assumption totally cracked me up! Born and raised in the city, living on my “hobby farm” now has been a totally different experience and lifestyle. Does this now make me a “farmer”? Hmm… Maybe?
Hay season is a big thing in any agricultural area. The pastures and fields need to but cut by a swather; a giant piece of machinery that is definitely intimidating. Fortunately, my “hay guy” lets me ride with him every year. Besides catching up with each others lives, I love getting a bird’s eye view of my field being cut. Mainly I make mental notes on what areas need work to produce better hay the following year(s).
Once the field has been cut, my stress level increases. Ideally, you don’t want it to rain which is common in the afternoons throughout summer. The cut hay dries in the sun until my hay guy returns in approximately three days to bale. While the baler is also large, it doesn’t compare to the swather! As he drives his tractor with the baler attached, perfect sixty-five pound bales are “pooped” out the back to drop down onto the field.
Now things get serious! These bales of hay need to be picked up from the field and taken to the barn for storage. I drive the tractor affectionately named “Fergie” attached to the flat-bed trailer. I stagger between rows of bales while “the boys” lift and stack these bales onto the flat-bed. We ALWAYS over-stack the flat-bed trailer which bothers hubby. But then, he wants a new flat-bed trailer so this is the way he will get one!
The last few years, we’ve had help “stacking hay”. Cody is very experienced and was available to help us again this year. It is incredibly impressive to watch him toss those heavy bales high in the air unloading the flat-bed trailer into the barn loft. Invariably, hay season comes at the same time as 90 degree weather. The temperature doesn’t slow Cody down which, again, is amazing! Ahh… to be that young again but that is a post for another day.
My son, Andrew, was also a huge help! Andrew took the afternoon off of work to come help “hay buck”. Many hands make light work; we were able to clear the field quickly and in only a few trips from field to barn.
Hot, exhausted, and itchy; hay season is done for this year! 154 bales cleared from the fields and stacked in the barn loft. My animals will have feed throughout the long cold winter months and I have extra hay this year that I might sell in January when hay prices sky-rocket? Hmm… It would be another adventure! In the meantime, watching the neighbors “mow” their pasture grass and I just shake my head; what are they thinking? Hay is money in an agricultural community!