Monday, August 31, 2009

Adventures in Hay Baling

Baling hay is a lot of hard work, but it sure is fun! After several days of this endeavor, we have most of our hay baled! We have been working for over 10 years to return our fields to a healthy condition. The first year we baled, we only got a few bales consisting mostly of weeds. Nevertheless, as the saying goes, "A goat will eat anything!" This year we are starting to reap the fruit of our labor and are proud of the amount of grasses and forbes that made up the large wind rows. Compared to other years, they looked like big waves coming into the shore!

Trey got the baler in working order and we began!

The weather was hot the first day, but the low wind kept the dust to a minimum.

We finally worked the kinks out of our faithful old square baler, and it began to tie off every time! Yeah!

Our first load of hay was almost finished, stacked to the top!
We unhooked the wagon from the baler, and proceeded to bring the hay down to the barnyard. Rachel took care of backing the truck to the wagon so we could bring the hay home.

Everyone was worn out from throwing bales of hay.

When we returned to the field to get a second load before dark, the sunset was just gorgeous. As Amanda crossed the field to the perfect spot to capture the image; we saw her bounding over wind rows at top speed toward the truck. She seemed so full of joy! Later we found that she had encountered a nest of Red-tailed Bumblebees! Owww! Needless to say, she sat out the rest of that round of baling as her rear end was a little sore from bee stings.

The next evening we began baling again, with enough time for only one load. We stopped to clean up and present a musical program at Heritage Woods. What a wonderful break! We arrived home and unloaded that wagon-full before it was dark.

Friday was filled with hard work and of course its bit of fun as well. Mark and Trey had a little Cowboy/Indian skirmish on their break. What fun!

Maggie was enjoying all of her time riding on the wagon. She is such a fun farm dog!

It's break time. We're checking out who the person in the car is. We always wave in the country.
The tractor needed a little tune up before continuing on, so we fixed it all up and then continued on our merry, busy way.

Look at those strong muscles at work!

It was a beautiful evening again, and thankfully there were no bees this time!

Ryan joined us for a day of hard work on Saturday. We tried to get Little Gray (our 8N) to start, but as he was being finicky this morning, we decided it was time to start baling.
We have yet to have a barn raising. Hopefully someday soon. . . In the meantime, we stack our hay on pallets and cover it with large tarps. So, some of the family went to pick up some more pallets, while some worked around the farm, and others raked hay into wind rows.
It was nice to have an extra person around to throw those heavy bales of hay!

We ended up having some trouble with the baler, and had to stop for the evening. A little hay remains in the field awaiting baler repair. We'll be back at it again soon. Our last count was 650 bales and considering that's a whole lot more than our first year, we are pleased!! God has blessed our fields and hay production!

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