Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Making Hay…

View of the farm from the main houseWhen we first met Jerry and Kathleen in Key West we knew right way that they were good people. We had a really great time with them while we were in the Keys. Jerry mentioned that sometime in August he was going to the Shenandoah Valley to hay his farm. We mentioned to him that we were going to be in the area about the same time and that we would love to see their farm and we offered to assist with the haying chores at hand.

Side view of the main house   the barn in the Shenandoah valley

Well we hooked up with them a few days ago and got directions to their place and drove the 40 miles over to their spread on the other side of the river and mountains from the state park. The drive over was unexciting till we got closer as the road narrowed a lot and we hoped to not see any traffic for the last two miles which of course didn’t happen. After maneuvering around low limbs and tight roads we made the turn into Riverside Farms which was tight… real tight, but we squeezed in and managed to turn the rig around and found a nice spot along the fence line.

Abbey boondockedAbout an hour later Jerry and Kathleenview of the horse stables arrived and we all had a good time reacquainting ourselves and reminiscing about the Keys. We had planned to stay in the motorhome but they insisted we stay in their house. The house is rented by the week as a vacation spot. The main house has 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms and can sleep up to 16 people. This makes it great for wedding parties, bridal showers, family reunions and other large gatherings. If you know anyone interested in renting a place as grand as this let me know and I will get you in touch with Jerry. The views from the second floor deck are stunning as can be seen in the header photo on top!

Making HayThe next day Jerry was going to rake the hay that had been cut earlier by a hired hand that rents a house and horse stable on his nearly 200 acres. The land is split by the Shenandoah River and goes halfway up a mountain side. The top half of the mountain is national forest so the views will always be unspoiled. The hay was too thin and amply dry so all that need to be done was the raking to get it ready to bale.  So after helping attach the raker to the tractor I watched as Jerry prepped the hay for baling.

Making Hay  Stacking the round bales

making hayWhile the raking was being done I walked from the barn along the Shenandoah River back to the house just enjoying the views and taking photos along the way. Later the baling for the round bales will done. After Jerry finished the raking the hired hand ran the baler and later I followed Jerry in a tractor while he stacked the round bales on the trailer behind my tractor. We had a grand time helping make hay in the Shenandoah Valley…

the barn 

Since it looks like Jerry doesn’t need our help any longer we will head on towards Pennsylvania tomorrow and find the next place to stay for a while somewhere in the middle of the state. We talked with them about meeting up again in the Keys during the winter and we know it would be a blast to run into them again. Thanks again for the hospitality Jerry and Kathleen!!!


  1. What a great way to spend some time - making hay. Looking forward to seeing your PA photos and following your blog - we arrive in Western PA tomorrow.

  2. Its always fun hanging out and helping at the farm, and running into old acquaintances, glad you had fun.

  3. We were just in Amish Country here in Ohio. Your area and ours look exactly alike. We watched them cut the hay yesterday BUT NO ENGINES. These are the Amish and what a way of life. Very impressive. We took tons of pictures of the area also. It is so beautiful and peaceful.

  4. I can't say I know that much about farming, but I know this: It's considerably easier when there's MACHINERY involved.
    As a kid I was the lucky one who drove the tractor, while my older brothers and my Dad had to throw the bales on the wagon. Such fun.

  5. I used to date a farmer many many years ago and he made hay...hard, hard work! But it gets you in shape!

  6. What a cool and unique experience!

  7. Farming is hard work! Great pictures showing a beautiful farm!!

  8. We made hay on our farm in Virginia for many years. This is a really beautiful place and TWO HUNDRED acres. WOW!

    Let me know if you make it to the Keys for the winter. I've had ZERO luck getting reservations anywhere south of Tampa. Seeking suggestions.