Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hay Day #1

A few weeks ago, I made my own hay using my scythe, some rakes, a tarp, and free child labor extremely wonderful, helpful children.

It was the first cutting of the year, and the first time cutting the complete hay field. Last year, I only got about 2/3 of it done. I did the whole cut in one shot, then the kids and I raked, tarped, and stored it on another day.

We then celebrated by playing baseball in the fresh-cut hay field. It was great.

The older kids helped rake and tarp the hay. I carried the hay to the shed and stored it.

The tarp system was new this year, and saved SO MUCH time. Last year, we used wheelbarrows and plastic tubs, while only store a fraction of what can be rolled up in a tarp. We raked up big piles onto the tarp, then I grabbed the four corners of the tarp and hoisted it up over my head. It rested on my head and shoulders, and then I carried it to the shed for storage. It was actually an old trick I learned from worked for my football coach's lawn service. in the fall, we'd haul leaves into the woods using this same method (although back then, we had more people and the wet leaves were a whole lot heavier).

Spreading out the tarp to gather Thing #2's pile.
I filled up nearly the entire DIY pallet hay storage rack in this one cutting.

The fresh hay, stored until winter. I think I have 3 unused squares after this one cutting.
A close-up of the stored hay. It's mostly still green, and has a very sweet smell.
I make some good hay!

I need to get some more pallets before next cutting to expand the hay racks. I hope to extend it to three walls, and fill the whole thing up. I'll need to do some serious shed purging, but items like my tools, the chick-u-bator, the grain storage, and obviously the hay all need to stay and be accessible.

Sigh. Another summer project.....

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