RicelandMeadows


Whew, That Was Close!
June 13, 2019, 11:26 am
Filed under: June 2019 | Tags: , , , ,

hayrake2019

June 13, 2019

Whew, that was close! The field above was the first dry hay of this year. We mowed last week. It was almost ready when the rain rinsed it off. I had left the grass laying flat, fearing the coming rain. The day after the rain hit, the horses and I went to work.

We fluffed the hay Tuesday morning just after the dew had dried off. The hay was mostly cured, but the bottom layer was still green and fresh cut looking. The hay was allowed to dry for several hours. We then raked the hay, flipping that bottom layer to the top. The sun and wind dried it throughout the rest of that day.

Wednesday morning, we were back at again. We fluffed the hay again with our tedder, a piece of equipment designed to pick the hay up and fluff the windrows. We stopped for lunch when we finished the fluffing job. The horses and I ate lunch, drank water, then headed out to the field again.

We raked the hay a second time, turning the windrows over yet again. The hay was light and airy. The cured, fresh hay smelled wonderful. We finished raking about two pm. The horses were unharnessed and left in the cool barn while the hay dried a bit more.

hayrake22019

I started round baling the hay at 4 pm. The hay had dried well and the baling was complete by 6:30 pm. This is the first dry hay of the season. This year has been a challenge for us farmers as we work around the wet weather. This hay will be fed to the cows. Its quality didn’t suffer much from the rain, but I fear it might be a little dusty for the horses. The horses get the very best hay that I can produce.

It was well after dark as I moved the last bale off the hay field. I was pleased with our efforts over the last few days. The horses worked very well and once again, proved superior over a tractor, as I worked on the drying hay. Their feet walked alongside the windrows as the rake flipped and fluffed the hay. No tractor tires to push the hay down into the soggy ground or compact the soil.

We have much more hay to cut, cure and store, but we are off and running. The equipment and horses have been tested and found to all be sound. The weather, we can’t control, so I will just wait patiently and be ready to go again at the next opportunity.

As I crawled into bed last night after a warm shower, the rain could be heard falling on the roof. My hay was baled. The bales were off the field. The equipment was parked back in the barns again. I smiled sweetly as I drifted off to sleep….

 



Rough Ride
June 15, 2016, 9:58 am
Filed under: June 2016 | Tags: , , , , , ,

tedder

June 15, 2016

Um, okay, steel wheels on the hay tedder, steel wheels on the forecart and a steel seat to sit on! Talk about a rough ride! After several hours over the last few days, all of our first cutting hay has been mowed, raked, tedded, raked again, baled and put away. The horses and I slept well last night. The tedder in the photo above is used to fluff the hay to aid in drying and curing. It is a simple machine that works like a dream…the ride, well it is more like a nightmare.

This forecart is where the horses hook on to the machine. I bought it from an Amish friend of mine. They are not allowed to use rubber tires, long story but part of their religious beliefs. I just figured what the heck, I’ll use it that way. It works fine, but I can see it will be a good thing to make my fields smoother. I will start using a thick pad in the meantime. The seat is not hard on my butt, it just makes my spine hurt. Those bumps go all the way to this old man’s neck!

I thought about using the filly yesterday, but then thought better of it. Her first hitch will probably be to the sled or wagon. I will get her used to the banging of a steel contraption behind her a little later in her training. Chances are, she would have been fine, but I didn’t want things to turn bad on a day when I had no help around in case it was needed.

We are a little slow around here this morning. We worked to almost midnight getting the hay all in and under cover. The equipment too was stored before I quit for the day. Now, we will move on to another project….the project of filling the woodshed. Good work for men and horses because we only work at it in the early morning, then again in the cool of evening. The afternoons are spent in the shade of a building working at some trivial task or perhaps eating ice cream 🙂