Hay Season

As soon as June comes Dan starts watching the weather forecast daily hoping for three days of sunshine in a row. As soon the weather report predicts that the sun will be shining for at least three days, we hay!  This year we were grateful for almost a week of sun!

Lots of people ask me what it is like to hay, so here is a brief overview of what happens on each of the three days.  If it rains on any of these days, the hay is ruined.  So we are always thankful when haying is done and it’s in the barn!

  1. On the first day, after the dew dries, Dan cuts all the fields.  The hay sits in the field for the rest of the day drying out.  It’s important the hay dries and isn’t green when it is baled on the third day.  Green hay can get moldy, or worse, can make the hay spontaneously combust.
  2. On the second day, after the dew dries, Dan fluffs the hay with the tedder, a large rake that attaches to the tractor.  The tedder turns the hay over to help continue to dry out the hay.
  3. On the third day, we bale the hay.  This is usually the most intense day and we are thankful for the long hours of daylight at the end of June.  In the morning, after the dew dries, Dan rakes the hay into windrows (long rows of hay) so that the baler (the machine that puts the hay into square bales) can collect the hay and tie it up with baling twine.  After the windrows are raked, we start to bale.  It works best if one person drives the tractor, one person stacks the hay, and one person throws the bale of hay from the baler to the trailer.

 

I wish I had pictures of the process, but it ended up being a such whirlwind of days that I forgot to take photos! Below are some photos that Dan’s sister Abby took of the process.  We were so grateful that she was home from Chicago and was able to help us out!

imageA chain on the baler broke.  Dan and his friends are working on fixing it.

imageIt’s a lot of work to hay, but views like this make it easier.  On this day, we weren’t able to finish baling all the hay because the baler had broken earlier in the day.  We were so thankful that it wasn’t going to rain the next day!

imageOnce we finish baling the hay is stacked into the hay barn and ready for winter!

There are many other ways that people hay but this is our process.  It keeps us busy in June, and then we start it up again the end of August and into September.  We got a couple hundred bales so far, so we shouldn’t need more hay to help get us through the winter.

Now that hay season is over we are in full swing with many other projects on the farm.  And when I say “we” I really mean Dan.  I’m on vacation right now in Swanzey, NH with my family!

I hope you are all having a good summer!

Farewell from the farm {the lake}!

xoxo, Britta

 

 

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