Monday, July 15, 2013

The Things You Need To Know

The things you need to have or know for hay making, in no particular order:

  • Light colored, loose fitting and tough clothing.  
  • In regards to clothing, there is no such thing as too old or too decrepit.  There is also no such thing as fashion.
  • A plan
  • An ability to revise, alter or  completely abandon said plan at a moments notice.
  • A sense of humor.  This is especially important for anyone possessing a Y chromosome.  I'm not picking on you guys, but this is by far the one thing most often lacking, especially when the plan falls apart.
  • The plan always falls apart.
  • No matter how hard you try, you can't control everything.
  • Things will go wrong.
  • Equipment will break.
  • The weather dictates and rules everything.
  • It is not helpful to swear or scream at the help.
  • It is sometimes helpful to swear at equipment, just don't get them confused and be sure to see above re. sense of humor and adaptability. 
  • A decent pair of leather gloves.
  • An acceptance of the fact that if you are the unfortunate possessor of cleavage, you will come home with a great deal of hay in that cleavage.
  • Never tuck your shirt in.  If you do, any hay not captured by said cleavage and accompanying undergarments will be funneled directly into one's underwear.
  • A hat and ample sunscreen.
  • The sunscreen will insure that even more hay will stick to your body.
  • You will be blowing hay dust out of your nose for the foreseeable future.
  • Drink as much water as you can.  It still won't be enough.
  • Dunking one's head in the water trough is perfectly acceptable.  The cows won't mind.
  • You can agonize, scrutinize, revise, debate, argue and change your mind about when to cut the hay as much as you want, but once it is cut, there is no going back.  You are committed.

The hay is all cut.

We thought we would be baling some of it today, but it just wasn't ready so it is going in tomorrow.   Tuesday is going to be the really big hay day.  Just in case anyone out there is contemplating starting their own farm and would like to gain some experience in this most crucial aspect of farm life or if anyone would like to experience the joy of hay making, feel free to stop by (just as long as you are ready to work:).  Here is what's on offer:
  • Hard labor in the full sun of the hottest weather of the year.
  • Itchy hay in unmentionable places.
  • Good company.
  • Bug bites.
  • The satisfaction and reward that comes with having hay in the barn.
  • Sunburn and/or heat prostration.
  • Good food when the work is done.
  • Dehydration.
  • A bra full of hay (if applicable).
  • The intense, almost transcendent bliss of going home to a cool shower at the end of a very long, hard, hot, anxious, hopefully rewarding day.


  1. I am so glad we're done with our big hay experience for the year, and we don't even have the added anxiety of cutting and baling our own.

    Good luck this week, and I wish you dry weather!

  2. I would love to help with this if only I lived in the area.

  3. ummmm, no thank-you! but kudos to you and your crew!!!

  4. It looks like we will be able to get our hay cut, baled and delivered this year! It seems people will do that for money! Go figure!

  5. What a job! It probably brings you the most satisfaction when completed, though :)

  6. Wonderful! Had me laughing : ) I would go through all that for a load of hay. Be very thankful you don't have allergies!

    1. Um, actually, I am very allergic to everything about hay and farming except the animals themselves. Double doses of Claritin and 10 years of allergy shots are all that get me through.

  7. Our hay guy showed up unannounced at 8 this morning with a small load, but glad to get it and have it in before it got too hot!

  8. Understand it all...been there and done that. Hay in all the places you don't want it to be.
    Haying is not for the is for the tough and the good humored folks.
    Loved this.

  9. Ahhh, the joys I've missed by not being a farm girl!!

    Nancy in Iowa (I know - I'm in the midst of farm country!)

  10. I helped with that job maaany years ago. Once... I lasted about an hour (no hat, no gloves, not used to physical labor, not enough anti-histamines...) - I was hurting big time. May you have perfect haying weather, keep your great sense of humor, and be rewarded royally with a barn full of wonderful hay! I'll be thinking of you for sure!!

  11. That is some very good looking hay! Been there and done that.

  12. Great post, oh yes can sympathise, hay really seems to find every available space, socks are always the worse, when they get really covered I have been known to throw them away! Good luck with the baling :)

  13. I love, LOVE haying. It's the best part of the summer. All my grass and alfalfa is baled. Just waiting for hay barley and it may be ready tomorrow. Seems like it takes the hay longer to cure this year.
    I laughed over your list! Most important is the sense of humor!
    Hope you get it all up in good shape!

  14. Hahahahahaha. Beautiful hay. I'd help if you were close by.

  15. Jealous!!! We thought we were smart to buy a place with irrigation, but it has been shut off because of drought conditions here. 25 acres sitting dry and brown, and we are buying hay from out of the area. :-(

  16. You forget to mention Don't Wear Shorts and Wear Long Sleeves because otherwise your legs and arms are going to be scratched to pieces.
    Oh yes, and have Epsom Salts ready for the bath afterwards. A great muscle soak.

    I don't miss haymaking. Not one bit.

  17. Oh yeah, you nailed it. You know you've been doing hay when you drop your drawers in the bathroom and chaff falls out. We're working on our hay, too.