This year haymaking has not been as stressful as last year. And again. That’s because (oh joy) there has been some spectacularly fine weather. Having a summer at last has lifted everyone’s spirits and has also come just in time for those running holiday places. After four rubbish summers the tourists are making a come back.
It’s quite hard to find people who still do small bales – and have the machinery which will fit into our old style gateways. But after scanning the horizon with binoculars last summer we spotted a young guy doing just that. A short car drive, a tramp across a field and a conversation, then lo, our fields were cut that evening. This year he did everything…cutting, turning, baling…which made it simpler than rounding up the bevy of faithful neighbours who have always helped us out in the past.
It was achingly hot. The air was buzzing and the sky intense. The cows took shelter in their shed under the oak. I could feel the burn on my skin.
First the Cut
Turning Comes Next
The cut grass is turned until it is dry, over a period of three to four days. It is usually turned once a day.
Next comes rowing and baling. The turned hay is put into rows and then the baler comes along and sweeps it all up into it’s belly and the bales come out like sausages.
I never tire of this process.
Time to Collect the Bales.
We made 280 bales from the Triangle Field and half the Cow Field. I would like to point out here that I was not always swanning about with my camera! Heaving was done. One evening our friends R & A (thanks!) came over at 8.30 and we got 100 in the shed before dark. 60 went to our neighbours A & P and the rest to our friends T & N. We still have one field to do.
One More Field to Go
Oh, and this is the green/brown roof on the barn today – I’ve already tweeted this I was so excited by the bees.