Well, actually, this probably wasn't too much of a surprise to the rest of my family, or to any of the farmers in the area... but it sure was to me. I haven't been home to help with haying in quite a few years and I was thinking that it started in mid-July and went to the end of August. When I found out that Ryan had mowed hay on Tuesday and Wednesday to be baled today, I was shocked. Maybe you are wondering “What is she talking about?! What is “haying”?!” Well, let me tell you…haying is a multi-step process. First, the hay is mowed (the mower lays it out into rows), then it is raked (the rows are fluffed up) and then it is baled (a “baler” makes it into small rectangle bales and then kicks it up into the wagon). When the wagon is full it is brought to the barn where the bales are unloaded onto an elevator which goes to a conveyor which is then dumped into the barn to be stacked in nice, tight rows.
As I was saying, today was the first day we started haying. I actually had to work at my other job, so I didn't help but I was reminded of how dirty and tiring it can be when I came home and saw all the "hay help" (my dad, mom, brothers, and two of our friends). They were covered in hay dust, talking about how many splinters they got, and a few of them complained about sore muscles. The question is... do we do this willingly? The answer is... yes. It is a necessary part of farming and one that is rewarding (in its own way). The animals need to eat in the winter, and by storing up hay... we have something else to feed them besides just silage. It also helps insulate the barn when it is cold outside.
It gives us (or at least me) a sense of pride knowing that we worked hard, we are sore, we are tired, but we got a lot done. Now... hopefully, I maintain this positive feeling after we have done it for days in 90 degree weather. :) My mom has figured out that ice cream sandwiches and soda's can be great encouragers/refreshers when we are all tired out. So, yes, it is hard, dirty work, and no, we don't all just LOVE to hay, but, yes we do it (without much complaining) because it is part of living on a farm. It is part of our life.
Hello, if you are a follower of this blog you will remember that Angela was doing the blogs. Well, things have gotten busy for her and so Stan, her dad, is filling in for now. I am not as techno savy as her so I am not sure how this will work but I am going to try and post on a hopefully regular basis.