Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hay There! It's Berry Pickin' Time!

We have had a wonderful mix of sun and rain this spring.
I'm not complaining, because it makes for perfect gardens.
However....
it really messes with bringing in the hay.

We need 4 days (at least of warm weather, slight breeze and no rain to make hay.
Friday we decided to give it a go.
Four days of sunshine were predicted.

This year we were lucky enough to have someone cut the hay for us.
It took this haybine about a half hour to do a job that would have taken me about 3 hours.


And afterward....the smell of new mown hay...
wonderful.
If the color green has a smell, this is it!
We ended up with rows and rows of beautiful thick green hay.


Saturday and Sunday we tended the hay to fluff it and help it to dry out.


Yesterday I got busy with the rake and started to combine rows
to make room for the baler and wagon.

Raking each row flips the hay and allows the bottom to dry in the sun.


Sadly, for all the work we put into it, the hay still did not dry.
Our soil is still so moist from all the previous rains,
the hay just wouldn't dry,

Even more sad is the fact that today's weather is forecasted to be rain showers.

If we can get the hay to dry without molding in the next few days,
we may be able to save this field.
If not, the hay will be given to our neighboring dairy farmer to feed his cows.

I am learning that this is one of the hardest things about farming.
Despite all of one's efforts, if the weather is not in your favor....
well, the outcome can be much less than you'd hoped.

But on a brighter note....
Look what is being harvested right now.


Luscious, big, juicy strawberries!
Aren't they beautiful?
These berries are from the plants that I put into three of my garden boxes in early April.
Just wait until next year, when those 150 plants have multiplied!
WOW!


One heavenly bite of these tender berries, and all of my hay woes disappear!
Ok, well not all of my hay woes,
but the berries certainly help!

16 comments:

JudiB said...

Same here Bev..Hay time worry time. I spend so much time watching the weather report and praying. Our neighbour puts his in first then us. He has started his. Wed. on is looking really good for hay days for our area. This year we are getting more hay hopefully. Always like to have that little extra.
Berry's are looking yummy. Hope to get a big basket next week.
Enjoy the day..love your tractor!!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Sweet juicy strawberries are my ultimate favorite. I bought some this past weekend at the farm I frequent in NH, They were delicious. Sorry to hear about your hay. I am learning so much about farming.

Country Gal said...

Love the photos of you driving the tractor ! I do hope the hay dries out and you dont end up loosing all that hard work . When we were on the hobby farm my dad and some farmers would get together gather up the cut hay and take it to a barn and spread it on drying racks in the barn that seemed to work ! Its a bit more work but it saved their crops ! Wonderful looking strawberries YUMMY ! Great post and photos ! Have a good day !

Junebug said...

If this isn't Farmer Beverly on the of tractor! I can so remember haying season as a child. I loved to ride on top of the load of bales as they bring the load to the barn. Later I was the driver of the hay truck. Not as much fun! I'll keep my figures crossed that Mother Nature behaves!

Anonymous said...

You are a true country gal! The tractor picture is great ! Sorry about your field, I'm hoping for NO rain for you guys! We had an inch yesterday and needed 3 more.... been dry here (southeastern Illinois by St. Louis). I enjoy your blog and great pictures too ! Thanks for taking time to share with all of us ! Todd

Anonymous said...

oh.... I was wondering about your new roo, the silkie guy. Where does he live, does he have any girls, do the other chickens (roo's) accept him ? Todd

missy max said...

So sorry about your hay..That's a lot of work..I'm sure the increase in humidity this past weekend wasn't very helpful either..
Your strawberries look "good enough to eat"..Beautiful..I'd be sitting in the garden with dipping chocolate or cool whip..They probably don't need that though..Either do I..Enjoy!!!

Kris said...

Loved seeing you on the tractor! I hope the hay dries for you. And those berries look luscious!

edenhills said...

Good luck with the hay. Here in Iowa it is sometimes difficult to get that long dry stretch also. This year, we need rain so I can actually get a second cutting. I do know what you mean about the weather being so controlling. I've been dealing with the problems of a too warm winter with the goat herd this spring/summer. It's been horrible.

Jenny said...

What type of hay do grow and use in your area of the country? In Oregon we use mostly local grass hay and Orchard grass from Eastern Oregon. We've had so much rain this year I don't think they have started harvesting locally yet.

Stephane said...

Such nice green hay, our grass isn't growing, not any rain really. Please send your rain to Colorado, we have four huge wildfires right now that could use some help.

Beverly said...

Stephane.... we grow orchard grass here in PA, too.

Todd... our new silkie rooster started out in the top of our barn, however he has decided that he would rather bunk down with the donkey gals at night. He and the other rooster at the barn tolerate each other well. The hens are staying within their yard these days as they were destroying all of the landscaping and flowers. Once Fall arrives they will be left out to wander. The bulk of our chickens in other houses are further away from the barn, and so they spend their days in the pastures and woods....and yes, there are two roosters in that gang that co-exist fine. The key is your rooster to hen ratio. They suggest one rooster for every 25 hens or so.

Michelle said...

We don't cut hay, but many farmers around us do. It is a lot of work, but I always enjoy the smell!

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

I'm sorry to read about your weather not co-operating while you do you haying Bev. I hope you're able to save that crop...such a shame to have to give it away. If we could just get a portion of your rain it would be greatly appreciated. It's been a better year than last for rain but still we're way below what we should have for this time of year. Good luck to you! Love the photo's of you driving the old tractor :) Oh yummy your strawberries are looking so good. I moved ours last year so they didn't do as well as last year plus where I moved them didn't have as much sand in the soil so they weren't too happy about that. I'll try and remedy that before next year. Enjoy your strawberries! Enjoy the rest of your week. Maura :)

Karen Bates said...

Beautiful strawberries! Love that gorgeous jam you made with them!!

A Primitive Homestead said...

I hope weather wll clear for you & the hay can be saved. So much rain here my strawberry crop has been little. The berries have molded. This year was the best they have ever bared. Yours are beautiful. Blessings!
Lara

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