Quilting, Farming, Variety

Friday, May 31, 2013

Spring Farm Update

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?
 
Charlotte 
 
 
 

12 comments:

  1. so glad it doesn't seem like you will have trouble with hay this year! good thinking on planted grasses :) I would not want to do the hard work you do - but thank god for farmers!

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  2. I'm so thankful you've gotten good rain Charlotte. We have too!
    I admire the two of you more than I can say. The work is so hard.
    Praying all goes well.

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  3. Loved the pictures! I'm so thankful for the rain this spring. Augustina Peach and I were just talking today about how the orange day lilies are about a month later blooming this year. I hope we continue to get rain all summer -- just not the bad weather like there has been the past couple of weeks.

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  4. We are so thankful for the rain. Remember last May when we got NO rain? I enjoyed your "Spring Farm Update," both pictures and words.

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  5. What an interesting and informative post.

    Thank you for sharing your life there on the farm.

    FlowerLady Lorraine

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  6. I don't know much about the farming process, so this was a very interesting post. I live in a small town with farming all around, but I've never lived on a farm so don't know what all goes on there. I do know it is hard work, and that I don't know where we would be without the hard work of farmers. Have a good weekend. :)

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  7. I've never lived on a farm so know very little about farming. I find your post so interesting and have learned that farming can be very rewarding eventho it's a lot of hard work. Sure hope the Lord sends the rain you need..:~)

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  8. What an interesting post and a lot of HARD work too!!

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  9. I'm so happy to hear ya'll are getting the rain but hope you can continue to get your hay up.. I know how important it is to have it come winter..The weather sure does have a way of changing from one year to the next..Hugs, xo

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  10. There's always work to be done on the farm. I grew up on a farm and know it's from sun up to sun down working, but what a job to be able to work outside and see enjoy the fruits of your labor when the fresh vegetables come in.

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  11. This was a wonderful post, Charlotte.. I love when you post about your farm chores because it is so interesting to see how you all do things~ and James always enjoys reading them too!! :)
    (He says he wished he lived close enough to come and help!)

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