28 June 2013

Let's Make Hay While the Sun Shines!

Well we got the hay cut, turned, dried, baled and stored before the rain came - just! It started a light drizzle as we were collecting in the last bales, then started raining in earnest as the last ones were being hoisted into the hay loft above the dairy.
We loaded and stored 400 bales of beautiful meadow hay. The smell is GORGEOUS!

so here are the photos : (Images marked * have been added after the original post - taken on a different camera so only just uploaded!)

 Are we ready for hay-making yet?

walking up to the Top Field
through Middle Field
Top Field  (the Hay Meadow) from Middle Field 

Baz inspecting the growing grass - the hay

meadow hay



The Top Field gate from the top of the lane



The Hay Meadow of an evening



Cutting the hay

* cutting the hay
(Andrew on his Big Red Tractor :-) 
*
*
Cut and drying:
the hay cut and drying in the sun


Turning the hay:
turning the hay

More drying in the sun: 
ready for baling 
Ron inspecting the hay - hoping it doesn't rain!

The field from the top gate
Foxgloves in the lane




ready for baling....?
where'd the grass go?
YES! A-baling we will go!

* the hay being baled

*
And now the bringing in, Stacking & Storing!

* Phew! Hot work!
* First load stored & off up the hill for the next load

 * bales waiting to be collected

* Bit of a breather!

* Off we go again!

* 2 full loads

*... and down the lane.... just as the rain starts!
The last load 
storing the last load in the hay loft
as it starts to rain fairly heavily
The Hay Barn....


The dairy.....
...the inside  ('downstairs'.... full of hay
and the hay loft above... full of hay!


Can we go in now? I'm getting wet & I want my dinner :-(



Phew- 400 bales, all safely stored for the winter! 
Harvest Home! 

14 comments:

  1. Wow...loads of work - but all looks lovely!! I adore Foxglove too!!! Glad the rain held off for you too!!

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  2. Anonymous4:02 am

    Always a good feeling to get the hay into the barn before the rain. I also know the relief that the animals will have good hay through the winter. Well done!

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  3. It's 4 a.m got up to make a cup of tea because I couldn't sleep (thinking about plots for my new proposed pirate series about Jesamiah's early life. Darn pirate rules my life *laugh*. I was woken up by the cat (Sybil) who insisted on having a cuddle - she smelt deliciously of hay.... so guess where she'd been for most of the night!

    I'm also a bit worried. I seem to be developing an addiction.

    Hay sniffing.

    I can't walk past the barn without going up to it for a sniff....

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  4. I'm happy to find that we share a love for farming...in addition to historic fiction! Here in Montana, USA, our haying operation looks a bit different. We raise enough to feed our cattle through winter and to sell to local buyers. We have a few varieties on our place (pure alfalfa, sainfoin, alfalfa-grass, grass-barley, and mixed grass) and each smells wonderfully different when freshly cut, dried and ready to bale, or stacked in the hay yard. I can only imagine what English hay smells like! :D Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures.

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    1. Ours is very sweet-smelling meadow hay Liz - smells absolutely gorgeous! We only have 13 acres in all, and we need most of it for grazing the horses, so about 5 acres have been set aside for the hay meadow. I suppose if we didn't have so many horses we would be able to sell some of the extra hay - but as long as we have enough for our own horses, that's all we need.

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  5. Some photos updated above - images of baling & bringing in finally added!

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  6. Looks fabulous and glad you made it before it rained. x

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  7. Looks like you had terrific weather--and just enough of it--for the haying. Lovely photos. Miss that new-mown smell of the countryside at this time of year...although it's much the same in New England!

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    1. Weather was just right - not too hot & the rain held off until the last half hour.

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  8. Lynn M. West9:08 pm

    You are so blessed to have a supervisor such as Baz! Apparently he is very pleased with the carrying our of your arduous task, and will hire you in the future!

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    Replies
    1. His only complaint was that he did nor get paid with enough bones - he's claiming he was short change! *laugh*

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  9. Helen, what a wonderful post! Although it is hard work, you all look as though you had amazing fun despite racing against the British weather.

    I read this and was transported back to 1980. I was 8 years old and it was my first trip to my grandfather's birthplace in northern Italy. My Dad and Nonno helped local farmers get the hay in with a caterpillar tractor (the fields are on steep slopes) and an old wooden cart that was once pulled by a pair of oxen. We all converged at one farm as there was a shared communal thrashing machine to bind the bales. Then we journeyed to and fro from farm to barn. I rode on the bales/empty wagon until the job was complete. I'll never forget the sweet smell of the hay. It is ingrained in my memory as a lasting reminder of those wonderful times as the barn and our farmhouse has since had to be pulled down due to landslide.

    Thank you for a trip down memory lane and I hope the horses enjoy the fruits of your labours.

    Elaine x

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    1. Thanks Elaine - I was worried before we started as I wasn't sure if I could manage the hard work - but actually it was great fun.
      Might not be fun every year though!

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Thank you for leaving a comment your interest is very much appreciated! It will be published as soon as possible - depending on whether I am at my computer or walking up the lane, or being chased by the goose or helping mend fences after the pony has broken through YET AGAIN.... :-)
Helen