Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Bringing the hay home

It was six days ago that this photo was taken. I have walked many a mile since then, but not in one straight line, as in going from one place to another, but going up and down and round and round the far field of Labartere.
It was haymaking time.

All we were going to do was cut the grass of the field.
It wasn't cut last  year, but I did scythe and make hay bales from in it the previous year, mostly by myself because Lester was busy working on his computer with his ex-UK employer. It took weeks. But I got it done.
However, we now have a compact tractor,
and we have a topper,
so we thought it a good idea for Lester to cut the field,
only the topper would not cut the grass cleanly unless I walked behind it and raked the piles of cut grass away from the uncut grass.
Which I did.
This was to be the start of my five day marathon.

The thing is, that tall standing grass needs to be cut when dry.
Which means that the sun needs to be shining.
Which means that it is hot, hot, hot.

And here is the view from the far field, looking back towards the house....

..... and so I marched behind the tractor until the field was cut.
Five hours was all it took. It felt much longer.
And as we looked at the cut grass it came into our heads that perhaps we ought to dry it and make hay, rather than let it rot.
We had a five day window of hot, sunny, weather, to get the job done.
And then it was the second day, and the turning of the hay, and the turning of the hay again, and the turning of the hay again, etc......
So on the morning of the third day we were wilting. It was taking us two to three hours to get the hay turned over so it could dry.....
and then the Universe sent us in people to help...
(the bodhrum player with our band, the Bollards)
and husband John (left)
(singer, and 'drummer' with the Bollards)

And together we four got that hay dried and baled.
....and the storm clouds started gathering, and the rain drops they did plop,
but we raced the weather,
and we just about won.
The first of the much needed rain fell
just as we brought the last bales in.


 Thankyou, John and Kathy, for your efforts,
we would have never done it without you!

And the new residents in the bathroom...

...four little balls of fluff!


Primrose and Daisy said...

Crumbs, Vera - I hope you had a cakefest after all that effort! Bravo! Xx

northsider dave said...

It must be wonderful to have such good friends Vera,helping you get the hay in.

I made a field of loose hay a couple of years ago and spent a few sleepless nights worrying it might rain. These days we usually make big round bales of silage or haylage.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Little chicks are so sweet at that age, they are little balls of fluff.
I use to love cutting the hay on very hot days when I was younger. The smell of fresh cut hay in the fields was awesome, It was also lots of fun getting it off of the field into the big hay barn we had. We were really dirty at the end of the day but it felt really good when all the hay was in. The wash in the shower felt like heaven afterward.

John Gray said...

I have cut my hay today..... Only on a much smaller scale than yours.............and after a full day doing it I am jiggered

rusty duck said...

Hats off Vera, great job.
I remember turning hay in a barn for just one afternoon. It took me a week to recover.

Vera said...

P and D:) No cakes cooked because no time for baking, but the pint across the road at the local routiers was something to be remembered forever!

Dave:) We make homemade bales which required a box and some string! They are fragile bales but at least we can get the hay stored. I think you have to have 'proper' equipment for silage?

Horst:) It wasn't the wash in the shower afterwards, but the pint of cool lager in a local bar. We went into the bar all in a muck, and felt quite proud to do so! Shower came later!

John:) 'Jiggered' expresses exactly how I felt as well!

Jessica:) We haven't had time to recover yet!

Kev Alviti said...

Looks a hard way to make hay and I bet you'll be careful when using it after so much effort. None will be wasted!
A scythe is on my list of things to get.

The Broad said...

I love hay-making time -- watching -- from the other side of the fence! Congratulations on your achievement and kudos to your friends for 'pitching' in and sharing the load...

Leon Sims said...

I know that from afar that other people's look rather idyllic and yours does but I can also see a lot of back breaking work you do. I have great admiration for you both.

Vera said...

Kev:) it is a hard way to make hay but we do not have any other options! I love scything, and have never had any ailments happen as a result of using the scythe, but I did watch a lot of YT videos so I knew how to stand properly so I would not damage my back.In fact, using the scythe keeps my back flexible!

The Broad:) There were many moments when I also would have liked to 'look over the fence'!

Leon:) Thanks!

Jean said...

Crikey, what a huge task.
Thank goodness for the help of friends.
But how satisfying to have your own hay, from your own fields, worth all the hard work I think.

Vera said...

Jean, seeing the hay sitting in the barn ready to give to the animals during the winter, that is a real good feeling!