Saturday, July 30, 2011

how's that, CJ!?

Spent the past two days cleaning out all the boxes and storage from the barn and putting it to proper use: stacking haybales inside it. I only got 36 in there so far, but techincally, it's not even August yet and I'm not so behind. Per CJ's comments in the last post, I thought about it and decided he was right. Get more each time, save on trips and your own time. I went back and got 29 more bales this weekend. I'll need at least a hundred stacked in the barn by snowfly, and another twenty or so stacked in the loft. While I'm not far from that goal, it feels pretty good to have this big job started, and now the entire lower part of the barn will be put to use as hay storage and winter quarters for a herd of rabbits, horse, and a feeder pig. Pretty standard use as far as barns go, but this early 1900's barn hasn't been used in a few decades.

No new turkeys are strutting under the maple trees. Bourbon Red pickup was moved to later in the week on account of yesterday's rain. Okay by me, since I am in full farm maintenance mode right now. Last night I had dinner at the Daughton's and Tim talked about having our coworker Brett (who repaired homes for years) come to see the damage. It looks like I will have help on the homefront afterall. He told me this while showing me how to use a vacuum sealer for veggie/meat preservation. (I am totally sold on the Foodsaver front now.) While we sealed up airless, plastic bags with wax beans we talked about their farm plans, my own stove and farm issues, and as we sat down to the table for dinner a cool wind and gentle rain blew through the room. Tim said grace, the summer squash crawled up their fence outside, and thunder rolled over the valley. It was beautiful.

Everything's going to work out just fine.


Blogger Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

“Load that Barge; Tote that Bale.

July 30, 2011 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

We have had such a terrible drought this year we can not imagine what a shortage of hay there will be this winter. We will most likely have to sell more cows than we had planned on because of this. We have friends that said they usually cut 100 bales a cutting but this year they have only had one cut and it was only 15 bales.Sometimes in farming there are obstacles but that just keeps things interesting!Farm work just helps use sleep well! :)

July 30, 2011 at 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only have room for a few hay bales, although I don't need many in the winter, thank God! You'll most definitely make it!


July 30, 2011 at 5:28 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Farm friends are real good friends to have.

July 30, 2011 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

OMG, looks like my truck and my hay. I'm due about 100 or so bales next week. I just hate doing hay in this heat. Like you, I've been moving things around getting ready, but gosh - just hate this job sometimes. Debi

July 30, 2011 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger kippy said...

She is Jenna, hear her roar!
Your description of the Daughton family makes me wish they were my neighbors. Didn't Mrs. D rescue Simon and arrange his adoption by Jon Katz?

July 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

No, not the same family. Cathy Daughton is not the same women who rescued Simon.

July 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Just a piece of advice, pen your turkeys to avoid losing any to predation. I have mine in a chain link pen and have to trim wings to make sure they don't fly out.
If you let Heritage turkeys free range they will roost in the trees making it difficult to get them for butchering and make them more available for predators.

July 30, 2011 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Ha, that's the spirit - although clearly I'll have to give a lesson on stacking the hay in the pickup -JK.

I'll be putting up 600 bales this year so the least trips possible the better. I have found that building a portion of each row towards the front of the truck makes loading the truck by myself much easier. At most I have to through the last couple bales up on top. Then when I'm throwing them up in the hay loft I leave the last two rows in the back of the truck for last. That way only the last 3 bales have to be thrown the full 12 feet from the truck bed to the hay loft door.

In the winter all I can think of when I see the truck fully loaded is the sleigh from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas as I head up the steep hill to town.

July 30, 2011 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Your energy and tenacity are inspiring Jenna! Doesn't look like we will be able to make the trip down for the fall workshop- that money needs spending on cloth diapers instead. But I'll keep reading and we'll keep dreaming :)

July 31, 2011 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger Shire's Mom said...

I bought 100 bales for my draft cross for the winter; with another 100 available from a neighbor if I need it. It took 4 pick up trucks loads to bring it all down from the hay fields to the barn.

Luckily for me, my hay lady is also my retired farrier and she does the stacking while I drive the truck around the field. She can stack 30 bales on the back of an old Tacoma pick-up.

Good luck with the hay! Oh and if there's even the slightest chance your barn roof might leak; stack the bales on pallets so you can tarp them and keep their feet dry.

July 31, 2011 at 12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad things are looking up.:)

I can vouch for the Foodsaver. I got mine about 3 years ago and I would not do without it. Keeps food longer than zip bags and although I love canning, in mid-summer, it's a much cooler and quicker process.

Good luck!

July 31, 2011 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Missy, I'm going to look for one on sale. It seemed great!

July 31, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Cynthia R. said...

Is that a bed cover I see in the mist of all that hay? I don't see how you got that hay up there. My dad taught us how to stack hay for hauling. The bottom row goes long ways with the truck. With the bales coming out on the tailgate. The second row side ways with 1/3 to a 1/2 hanging over the sides of the truck. Each row the same until the top row. The top row going long way to lock the bales on the truck. Like C.J. we start at the front and use the bales as steps to get to the top. I know with a pick-up cover that going to be a little harder to do, but you get the ideal. Anyone else stack hay different?

On the news yesterday...They were talking about the drought. Cow prices are down because so many farmers are out of grass and water. Farmers are selling because they have no way to feed the stock. Their fields are gone. Which means higher prices in the grocery stores. The people who raise their own food and can it will be better off than those who don't.

Thanks to Jenna I had a garden for the first time in years. Some I canned and some in the freezer.


July 31, 2011 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Jennifer - same here! We have nothing green left anywhere and hay is very expensive and scarce!

Foodsavers are the bomb - we use them to package our broilers too, although now that we're doing SO many, I'm moving to heat shrink bags for economy.

July 31, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Does anyone know of a link online on how to stack bales? I did read your instructions, but I can use all the help I can get.

Steak and eggs, congrats!!!!

July 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

Oh, me too about the FoodSaver! I just got one and I am in love. My son and I had tons of fun vacuum sealing canning jars of stuff. Make sure you get those attachments! They are awesome.

July 31, 2011 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger E said...

Learn to seal from someone who knows how. It may seem like a simple task, but hints like cut large bags for first use, then they can be used multiple times.

Also stak your truck neater and you'll fit more hay and it'll be a safer drive.

Is the floor of your barn dry enough to keep the hay dry?

July 31, 2011 at 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are some actual pictures of how hay is stacked and tied down into a truck bed. Hope it's helpful!

July 31, 2011 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Jenna, this is too funny. I just got 30 bales today and took pics of stacking it in the barn. Check my blog in about 20 minutes and hopefully I'll have it posted by then.

July 31, 2011 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

That picture is pretty close to the way I do it, but that's a full size truck and my bed is slightly smaller. I don't switch direction on row three because I think it leaves room for the sides to separate on rough terrain. By keeping the bales going in all the same direction I can stagger them left and right to cover the seam from row two.

When stacking them in the barn I alternate direction on each row.

July 31, 2011 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thank you for all the links and advice, that chart is gold.

E, I have it stacked above ground, on wood.

July 31, 2011 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

Yeah, that link is pretty much how I do mine. Here's my blog post:

July 31, 2011 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

After we lost everything in our freezer when the electric went out from the April tornado I will not be freezing too much any more. I have started to either dehydrate or can everything. Hate to lose all that good stuff in the freezer plus all that plastic isnt good for you or the environment.

August 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM  

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