pink peony

pink peony
old-fashioned peony

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Making Hay -- Even when the sun doesn't shine

This spring, it has been a different challenge. Last year, there was no rain. None. The grass didn't grow well, and the hay just dried up and disappeared. By June we were traveling far afield to buy trailer loads of hay to just get through the summer because the pastures dried up, too, and we had to feed then -- for the first time in memory.

This year the rain has been plentiful, and the grass has grown well. The cooler-than-normal temperatures have been delightful, for humans and for hay crops. The windrows are lush and big.

Yesterday, as the weatherman predicted more rain on the way, my Farmboy was rushing around, trying to make hay while the sun shone -- or didn't. It clouded up, so he called in reinforcements. Our son-in-law brought his baler up from the south farm, and they both jumped in and got it done.

In mid-afternoon, I was called upon to bring extra baling twine to the field. I made my delivery, and then I just sat for a few minutes and watched.

When the baler has picked up enough hay to make a bale, the operator stops for a minute and lets the machine wrap the twine around the bale. The the back end of the baler raises up, and a big, fat bale rolls out. It always reminds me of a chicken laying an egg. Success!
And then he drives on and does it all again, over and over.
This particular field is one of the prettiest places on the farm. It is high, with a soaring view to the west, looking toward the Glade Top Trail, south to Arkansas, and southeast to Caney Mtn. There is always a breeze here, and it feels vast, like a scene from the American West. I love this lone tree still growing in the middle of the hay field. The men had made silage from the ground where there are no hay bales (on the left in the picture), but when the silo was filled, they switched to baling.
We are so thankful for a better spring, for better growing condiditons and for the ability to put up feed for next winter's needs. It's a busy time on the farm, but there is satisfaction in the tasks that fill every day, from sunup to sundown.


  1. What a beautiful field! I love the windrows, and that single tree, and the baler laying an egg! It's a great spring, isn't it?

  2. We had ours baled in square bales this time. I love the sound of the thunk-thunk as it moves down the line. Good very happy this is a good hay year.

  3. I love this, Janet. Making hay has always been a mystery to me, and you explain it so wonderfully.--Sheila