Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hay there!

It's hay time in Tennessee. This time last year no one knew what was in store for the farmers. Hay time last year was not as fun or fruitful because of the drought and late freeze. There was even talk of the State aiding farmers in shipping in outside hay. Fortunately that plan did not come to fruition, though I was sympathetic to the cause I did not think this was a good idea.

Mr. C. did not mind me watching him with the digital camera and even waved. I guess he was saying, "Hay there!" He and his helper were pretty hot in the sun and quite busy. I truly felt for them while I mowed my lawn-in the shade. I thought, shade and hay do not mix. Sun and humans don't get along too well either, but someone has to cut that hay for the cows.

The video shows Mr. C. coming up the hill and making those neat piles of hay disappear behind his tractor. When the tractor gets full, he stops, shifts a few knobs, and out comes the load. It works almost like a chicken walking along, stopping, laying a egg and moving on. Just like that. Kind of funny to watch, and I always stop to watch and say hello. From what I can see this process is a three step process. First you cut, then you use a machine (maybe a harrower-does anyone know what this contraption that pulls the hay is called?) to pull the hay into piles, then the roller comes along and deposits the huge round bales. Mr. C. will leave the hay in the field for a while, then consolidate it all. Sure looks nice now that it is cut, and smells heavenly.

in the garden....


  1. Tina,

    When I was a kid in Missouri we visited a farm for the summer and we would use the stacked hay as a slide; it was so much fun! I love the smell, too!

    I wish it would rain!


  2. I'm glad we had the rain for the hay to grow this spring. Let's just hope we get more rain this summer than we did last summer.

  3. I love the smell of fresh cut hay. When I was a kid I got to help my aunt and uncle with the hay. I say help I was like 3 or 4. Mostly I stuck my head out the window to make sure it didn't fall off the truck. On the machine are you talking about where they gather the hay in a line. If so that is called a hay rake.

  4. Good morning all!

    Gail, sliding down the hay would be great! I never did that but did play in the hay loft quite a bit as a kid. Do they grow more hay in Missouri than here do you think?

    Dave, I'm with you on the rain. We so need it. 10 days until the tour and no rain in sight. Help! After that I still want it but will survive.

    Sarah, I am so glad you are talking with us all and join in regularly! And thanks for telling me what that thing is-a hay rake. Makes sense. I looked up a harrower and found that was a cultivator but had no idea what pulled the hay. I wish I had something like that to pull the leaves in my yard.:)

    Got lots of school work today. I must make it a priority. It is hard to be disciplined when attending online. It is an awesome day and pretty cool for June. I should be in the garden but I am practicing some self control like Socrates advocated. See? I am already learning!

  5. I always never understood about what hay goes where. For the cows? grade 1 for winter ground coverage? or foundation bales for warmth? Guess it depends on amout of rain if it is good to eat or not. Sure smells good. Rained downpours off and on allnight, 96 in the next town over, almost 1'' hail in the other town from me. We now have a/c, didn't take long. Maine isn't used to this.

  6. Good video Tina! I love the smell of fresh cut hay and grass, except for when I am cutting it. LOL... I am with you Tina, I would have to stop what I am doing and watch the process in the field. I think comparing it like a hen laying an egg is too funny....

    We really need a break from the heat and lack of rain! If I dont water the veggies, they wilt and with watering them every day, they are turning yellow! What’s a gal to do??? The peppers are all doing great though and we have picked some Cow-horn and Gypsies. Drought tolerant stuff looking great! Lots of blooms from the Periwinkle, Petunia and Lantana...

  7. Guess we all agree on loving the sweet smell of hay. I had an uncle that ran a farm for a guy and he used to take my brother and I to the farm often or we would walk out and bug him. He used to let us ride on the machines and at 7 or 8 years old we sure thought we were special. But now, looking back on it, I bet we were pains in the you know what to my poor uncle!!

  8. Tina, thanks for summarizing the film as i couldn't watch it. Hand held video makes me nauseous. I hadn’t realized that you really live in farm country. That’s too bad about the weather ruining the crops last year. It’ s such a tough existence.

    Cute cygnets on Skeeter's post too. We have some on the Thames now. I might post them next week.

  9. Dawn, I have no idea how they grade the hay. Mr. C. and most farmers around here store it outside, or if they are lucky and get free money (grants), they build overhanging tin buildings and store the hay under there. It is better as it lasts longer. Gloria used to bale hay at ther Dad's in square bales for her horses. Remember?

    Skeeter, Watering right now. So frustrating. I am getting away with it since we are filling the pool. Might as well make a big bill all at once. We'll see next month. Maybe the Saint could set you up an irrigation system for all those pots? Put it on automatic? Save time. I wish I had one.

    Mom, Everyone must ride on a hay tractor at least once when they are kids. Such good memories. Glad you and Uncle Rick had them too. Pains or not...

    Sarah, I am kind of rural here. My neighbor has a good amount of acreage and he farms cows. Reminds me a bit of Germany, though I haven't had sheep in my backyard with a nearby shepherd here. I miss that. The farm is my backyard view. Nice view indeed. You don't have to watch the video to imagine the smell of fresh cut hay. You probably have a ton of it in England. I will look for the cynets for sure. Skeeter loves all animals and has a bunch for sure. All I keep collecting are more stray cats. Poor things. Nothing as exciting as swans.

  10. Sarah Laurence,
    Sad update on the cygnets. One died and another beat up when they swam into another Swans territory. The beat up one was then abandoned by the parents. Now the mother Swan died. Arggg, I know sad story and even sadder that the Saints parents had to witness all of this. The battered cygnet was taken to a animal refuge and no update on its condition since. Mother died from what they think to be pneumonia from eating bad (moldy) corn or bread from a human source. They are telling people on the lake to not feed the swans and ducks but they are so cute it is difficult not to. The father Swan has taken up parenting duties and is now raising the lone cygnet...

    The Saint and I took a river cruise on the River Thames! Beautiful cruise...

  11. Oh no, Sarah. BooHoo. Sorry your inlaws had to see all that nasty stuff. On the bright side go daddy and get that little one to grow up to be a beautiful, graceful critter.

    You probably already know but it is HOT here and no rain. First time ever we had to have Splash fill the pool this year. How much longer do you have over there? I think you said July but not sure. It is coming fast!

  12. Nice post --we have the farmer behind us do Hay --he actually did it quite early this year so he'll be doing it again in a few weeks. It is nice -but drives the kiddos allergies all over the place. We can sit out back and watch or from inside --Sidekick enjoys the equipment more than the hay process:) Another hot day today --but I did weed some this morning with the kiddos after a run and bike ride. Boy 1 had piano lessons and now we are all patiently waiting to go swimming. I don't let them swim out in the hottest part of the day --unless we have guests. We can go thru a tube of sunscreen in a day:0) And, of course they all like the Neutrogena --it really works well and has a nice light scent --not stinky like some sunscreens. Poor Sidekick --I tried some Banana Boat on him and he started screaming it was burning him --guess it's a little harsh for his tender skin. So, we won't be using that anymore. My beans and peas are looking happy --but they need watering everyday. And, hubby turned on the timer on the sprinkler system so the past two days the yard has been getting a drink. I really wish we'd get a bit of rain --I don't want another summer like last year:( Well, almost time to swim --yeah!!

  13. One test and one case down. Trying to get thru as many as I can tonight but for sure one more of each to go. They are hard!

    Skeeter, So sorry about your little swans. They were so cute. Nature can be a cruel world indeed.

    Mom, good you are warning Sarah L. about how hot it is in Maine. Not usual as Dawn said.

    Anonymous, You are doing better than me to be out there weeding. The party is over? The kids are doing well with ball? Glad veggies are doing super. My garlic is ready for harvesting but not sure on the onions yet. Keep an eye on them. I know how you love them.

  14. That surly brings back childhood memories.

    Tina, I think you asked a few months ago what color my irises are, and I said different colors, and I would be posting some photos. I finally got it done. If you want to see them here is a link. Hope this works.CLICK HERE

  15. Well, that didn't work so well. Anyway, if you get back to my blog sometime, they are finally there.

  16. DP-Thanks!

    Barbee, The pictures were great and you husband/best friend/chief photographer did a great job. You have a super awesome blog and garden up there in Lexington.

  17. Late night, Zack had a doubleheader, we won one and lost one. Tina, I wanted to mention my Hy. beans are coming up like gang busters. Can't wait til they trail from the boxes.

  18. Dawn, Mine too. Be careful by the end of the summer they will have covered a good sized trellis. I also have brown eyed susan vines comeing up. Not sure how to collect the seeds but they intermingle with the hyacinth beans. Things are small in my garden. Late planting year for me. Enjoy the vines. The beans are so pretty. Won't be long!