Make Hay While the Sun Shines

It’s haying season!

Winters in Wisconsin are long and the summers are short so we have to make hay while the sun shines. Farming is completely dependent on the weather. It can be hard to understand what that means unless you have had to bale hay rather than go out on the lake with your friends or have spent the better part of the day on a tractor in the sun.

It sounds terrible when I put it like that but it’s not. Usually all it takes is careful planning to figure out how you can bale hay while still having a bit of fun. Also driving a tractor can be therapeutic in it’s monotony. Up and down the field, watch whatever you are pulling to be sure it is working properly, up and down the field. As long as nothing breaks the process can be mind numbing.

For those of you who don’t know the process:

  1. Mow the grass.
  2. Let is dry.
  3. Rake it over so the bottom side can dry.
  4. Let it dry some more.
  5. Bale
  6. If the bales are small squares they need to be unloaded or larger round bales need to be hauled off the field.

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I drive tractor for my dad in the summer and he pays me in hay for the winter. This last weekend we brought home a wagon load of hay from his farm and we had to get it unloaded before it rained so everyone helped. I unloaded the bales from the wagon onto an elevator that runs them into the hay mow, Lucian pushed the bales closer to me on the wagon, Trenton stacked the bales up top, Fiona manned the truck, and Jack (the horse) tried to eat the hay so we wouldn’t have to move it.

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Lucian had a great time until he pushed a precariously perched bale and fell with it along with three other bales. When I dug him out and he needed a little snuggle and a break but he was back at it 5 minutes later. He did awesome! We finished in about 45 minutes while Fiona fell asleep in the truck. Afterwards we all went for little swim to cool off. There’s half our hay for the winter settled in the barn.

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