July 1, 2008

Hay Down

With plenty of fertilizer and water, our alfalfa/grass meadow grew three feet tall. Our horses have only been able to keep up with about an acre, so our neighbors offered to cut a little under 2.5 acres so we’d have something to put up for winter hay. (We saved a little bit of the tall stuff for the horses to eat until the rest of the pasture grows out after cutting.)
Yesterday, with the NOAA weather report showing sun for the next 7 days, 16 year old Todd came over with his dad’s big mo-co (mower-conditioner) hay mower. (Too bad Lucas wasn’t here to see. He would have loved that BIG truck!) Todd’s little brother Caleb, only 7, came along to “help.” We had to pull T-posts in several places to widen the gaps for the machine’s 15 foot, 10 inch swath. (We’d prepared for a 14 foot wide machine, but that turned out to be the measurement on their old haymaker.)
Todd managed that machine like he’d been doing it all his life – he’s probably been involved and practicing since he was Caleb’s age. The grass was down in neat rows in just over an hour.
However, no sooner did we get the machine back through the gaps and returned to the house than the sky started to darken. We went in, checked NOAA again, and sure enough, now they were calling for 20% chance of rain. Duh. After they looked at the sky, they must have decided 100% sunny just wasn’t realistic, same as we did. So much for accurate weather predictions.
The wind blew, the temperature dropped, but it didn’t rain yesterday. This afternoon, more thunderstorms moved through. The wind blew, the temperature dropped, and some raindrops fell. Not too many, though. So far, the hay’s probably all right.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed for good weather through Friday or Saturday, when we should be good to bale.
Next project: doing something with the produce from veggie garden and fruit trees. They're coming along.

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