As a city girl, I never really connected the dots between the saying and the actual process. I know that we paid a fortune for hay this past winter for the cows. And John had said he wanted to make hay from the fields this year. Now, I'm a pretty smart girl so I paid attention when the menfolks was a talkin'. Here's what I learnt! Hay needs to be cut when it's at least 2.5 feet high. Then it needs to lay for about 2 days to dry. Then it's raked (twice - once one way and then the other way). And finally it is scooped up in the haybaler and made into either those small squarish bales we see in the movies where they're sittin' and talkin' or into one of two sizes of rolls. Our friend Terry has a baler that makes the smaller rolls. John asked him if he would bring his equipment over and we would pay him the fuel charges. Terry, my John, and our neighbor John trucked all the equipment, including Terry's large tractor over to our house a couple of weeks ago. But they couldn't make hay cause it was raining so much. Well, last Tuesday, the outlook for dry weather suggested they cut hay that night, leave it for the next 2 days, and then make hay before the rains came the next day. This is our neighbor John in the foreground with his tractor, dragging the hay rake. Behind him is Terry and his tractor collecting hay and making....well, Hay. The second picture shows the birth of a hay roll.
The next day, it rained...I mean it poured! We had over 5 inches of rain during the day on Friday. That made some pretty wet rolls so they needed to dry out a bit. On Sunday, it was dry enough that the 10 1/2 rolls of hay could be taken over to our neighbor's for storing till we need it this winter. This picture was taken just before I took them each a nice cold beer!
And now you see why they needed to get the hay sheltered...this was a mere 1 hour later.
Now I know why they say to make hay while the sun shines....hay needs to be dry to be raked and baled and the best way to do that is to use the sun...Enough agri-education for now, children. Recess!