Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making Hay, Part 2

This next picture (below) was taken in May, looking north from the house across the sheep pasture.  The sheep pasture is the one with the yellow dandelions blooming.  Can you see the bright green beyond the fence on the left of the photo?  That is a new seeding field of alfalfa.  To the right, in front of the woods, is an older meadow that is cut just once in the spring.  After that it becomes pasture for the sheep.  It is a sheep smorgasbord of grass mixes, timothy, alfalfa, June clover and Birdsfoot trefoil.  Sheep love it and so do deer and wild turkeys ~

Cutting the hay started the first full week of June with this field.  Conditions were perfect - dry, bright sunshine and a warm breeze with low humidity.  The hay was cut, raked, cured and baled by Wednesday evening.  Most of the big round bales were even moved off the field before the rains began that night!
Four Percheron horses pulling a large motor on a cart in front of the round baler
This picture gives you a better idea of the order of things.  The teamster, Chester, sits next to the motor and drives the horses.  Here the round baler is kicking out a finished bale
In  days past, my husband might have raked the hay with young horses he was training.  It is fairly easy work yet gets the horses tired enough to learn to walk quietly and appreciate the chance to stand still and rest at the end of the rows.   He can't work horses any more, so this hay was turned with a tractor and rake before our friends came with the horses and outfit you see pictured above to finish with the baling.
An old horse drawn hay rake, this one used for parts but no longer needed and parked along the woods edge
That took care of the hay fields on this side of the woods.  In Part 3, I'll show you baling from the Burnham Farm fields.

1 comment:

Donna B said...

Love the gorgeous pictures! Hope you and yours are well, Cary.