Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Haymaking & Heat!

Hot weather has arrived, at least for a couple of days. And, of course, the first day that hit 85 degrees was celebrated by putting up bales. If you are among the uninitiated, let me explain. Putting up bales means taking fifty-pound hay bales and moving them into a barn. It literally takes a village and there is always the ticking clock of weather, the hay maker's time, and the farmer's own schedule. So yesterday five of us put up 254 bales into Livingston Brook's barn. We took turns climbing up into the hay wagon, chucking bales, setting them onto the hay elevator, and inside the barn stacking and throwing. It only takes a few hours with good workers and decent machinery but there is no denying the heat, sweat, and chaff. I don't mind heat and sweat but the thousand razor-sharp cuts of chaff drive me nuts. So I always wear long sleeves, long pants, boots, and a bandana. I sneeze out hay flakes the rest of the week.

Today the heat will end with an intense thunderstorm, of which I am very excited about. Thuder is just starting to rumble. I already did my garden work, weeding, milking, and regular chores. I planted the rest of my potatoes with some Adirondack Blues (purple mashed potatoes!) and Gibson helped me herd up some stray ewes. Annie spent most of the day indoors, panting with a fan in front of her face. She is not into intense heat at all, but she was born and raised in Tennessee and knows the secret to being uncomfortable—that it isn't deadly 99% of the time.

A lesson for us all, no?


Blogger Sara said...

That sounds pretty intense. I have done straw bale construction in the past and it is a very similar struggle. You are battling the elements, and time since the bales need to be assembled, secured, trimmed, and plastered accordingly. If not, you risk the bales being too wet or critters burying in if you don't butt the bales close enough. The walls also need to be plastered quickly after they are assembled - since the greatest risk of fire happens between the period of time where the bare bale walls are built up, and the walls are plastered. After plastering the walls are incredibly fire-resistant. But god...back-breaking work. Imagine your heavy bales but dripping with clay slip in the dead of summer...

June 4, 2014 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger crazymimi said...

I don't miss the days of having to put up hay for our horse. Do you have access to Alfalfa hay? Your garden is looking so good, I hope you have found a spot to plant you a few watermelon and cantalope

June 4, 2014 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger MIB said...

I've actually been thinking about getting a pair of Kevlar sleeves for throwing hay this year. They're not that expensive--around $12 a pair. http://www.bunnyrabbit.com/price/groom.htm

June 9, 2014 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger MIB said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 9, 2014 at 11:55 AM  

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