Spring here on the farm has gone so fast! We had cool weather for a long time and good rains; in fact, it still isn't really hot yet.
Last fall, when our hay supply was short, the farmer planted grass seeds in the hay meadows and pastures. When the hay was almost gone, the grass came up and gave the cattle a little extra to eat. They didn't leave much sign of that grass, but in the meadows it was a different story.
This was a variety of grass called "rye", and as you can see it grew to almost six feet tall. We think this hay will make good feed for the cattle when it is put through the grinder/mixer next winter.
Arrow leaf clover was mixed with the rye.
These rows of stubble make the field look like there wouldn't be any more grass all summer, but with a few good showers, new grass will make the field green again.
We have had rain in the forecast several times in the past few weeks, making a time to cut the grass uncertain. But if we can get two - three days in a row without rain, the farmer cuts and we bale the next day. Of course the grass isn't completely dry; therefore, we use this machine to wrap the bales in plastic.
The damp hay has to be wrapped the same day it's baled, otherwise it will rot; the plastic seals out air, turning the grass into a type of silage. As the bales are put onto the machine, they're pushed forward into a chamber where the plastic wraps around the bales as they move. The long rows are sort of an outdoor barn. Having to haul and wrap the bales as soon as they are baled, makes for a long day of work. We can haul as many as fifteen bales at a time from the field, taking about an hour for the road trip and the wrapping. Some nights we aren't finished until eleven or twelve p.m.; long hours for old people.
We've put up almost 450 bales so far, as compared to a total of 501 in last summer's drought. We are so thankful for every bale!
On top of working in the hay, our chickens are in their last week on the farm, which means "there's work on every hand!" I keep wondering, how many more years will we be able to work?