Make Hay While the Sun Shines!!
Summertime + Sunshine = Time to Make Hay!
It is that time of year again. Time to fill our hayloft with the smell of freshly cut grass hay!
When the grass dies and our New Hampshire land gets covered up with ice and snow it is crucial to have an ample supply of hay for our horses, cows, sheep and goats. As farmers, we embrace the hard work that comes with unloading and stacking the hay in the summer heat because we know the animals will be well fed once the cold weather sets in.
For many years we have been getting our hay from Jeff, a local dairy farmer who lives a few towns away. He has beautiful rolling hayfields with the best type of grass for our animals nutrition; orchard grass, timothy, alfalfa and clover.
The weather determines when a farmer can start the haymaking process which typically is a three day process. Day one, the hay is cut in the morning. That same afternoon the freshly cut hay will get tedded. This process “fluffs” the hay up off the ground to help the drying process. Day two after the sun has dried off any dew from the previous night the hay will get tedded two more times throughout the day. Again, after the dew evaporates on day three the hay is then raked into windrows and baled. The finished product is a 50 pound dry bale of green hay, bale by bale it is loaded onto a trailer, strapped on tight for the drive, and delivered to the barn for dry storage!
Jeff delivers just over 200 bales at a time. We try to have at least three people up in the hayloft to help with the throwing, lugging and stacking! It is HOT in the hayloft and we all get a really good workout!
You can check our progress over the summer by taking a walk into the loft to see the stacks of bales.
Have you ever been Hay Jumping at East Hill Farm?
I’ll bet all that fresh hay smells good! Its great to hear about the haying process. It is hard work indeed. I am also in awe of the arched construction of your barn’s hayloft roof/ceiling. It looks very sturdy. Thanks for sharing.
Our three kids when younger all did hay jumping in the barn!! Great article!!