Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hay, hay, hay… Making Hay…


Haying the Valley 006If you have read this blog for a long time you would know that a few years ago we met some really great people who have a farm in the Shenandoah Valley. We stopped by their little piece of paradise and gave them a hand in helping hay their farm. Well here we are two years later and the call for help came once again and since we were only about 250 miles away we went ahead and headed north to their farm. We had planed to make one or two more stops before visiting them but with haying the weather gods tell you when it is time to hay and when it isn’t. So we made the long, for us, drive of about 5 hours and pulled into their farm.

Haying the Valley 013It is just as beautiful a place as we both remembered and it was great getting to see our dear friends once again. We last got to see them in San Diego when they were visiting the area and we happened to be nearby. That was a fun time in San Diego but this time is will be less fun and more work as I planned to help Jerry get his haying done. He fertilized this year and has an abundance of hay.

Haying the Valley 007Once the hay was cut it had to be tedded and raked and I was going to do the tedding on the two largest fields. After the hay is cut it starts to dry and it needs to be worked to promote curing. Tedding the hay fluffs up the cut hay and allows the air and sun to assist in this important drying process. It is a slow and tedious process but eventually I had all the hay tedded.

Then Jerry ran the square baler and a hired hand ran the round baler and put all the hay into bales. Once the hay was all baled the only remaining work left to do was to get it all off the fields and staked into the barn. Fortunately for me Jerry had hired some young bucks to stack the hay as that is pretty hard work. Last time I helped by driving a flatbed trailer around behind a tractor while Jerry skewered round bales with a fork lift and stacked them on the trailer. This time there was lots of hired help to get the hay out of the field since it was supposed to rain Sunday afternoon. So all I needed to do was stay with the square baler and help out when it needed to be re-twined or to when the when the baler would screw up.

Haying the Valley 005   Haying the Valley 014

Haying the Valley 019Haying the Valley 010Since we were cutting along the Shenandoah river I was able to get in a little small mouth Bass fishing and caught quite few on artificial baits and even caught two fish on one cast…. Who would have known that I would be able to mix in a little fun during the haying process. Once the hay was all stacked for the day we had a wonderful dinner that Sharon made and then a few celebratory libations were shared…

There is still some hay in the field that needs baled and stacked out of the rain so we are not sure what the weather gods will allow us to get done but we shall see… Once we are done haying and visiting our friends we will likely head on towards Pennsylvania and find a place to stay for a while.


  1. Hay, two fish on one cast is pretty good! :)

  2. Nothing like hanging out at the farm.
    Enjoy you travels.

  3. Hard work like that is good for the soul and makes you appreciate retirement. He's lucky to have a good friend like you.

  4. Oh boy do I wish we had the equipment to do our own haying. We have beautiful hay standing in the field because our main hay man had a heart attack and we haven't been able to find anyone else who needs it or wants it or will even do it for money. Sad situation here. We wanted to be on our way to Pennsylvania too but we have to get this taken care of first.

  5. Hard work can be fun, but mostly when it is over.

  6. I worked hay fields for a number of years in my youth, as I think I recall.

  7. We grew up in Indiana, but we were both townies, so I missed the hard work on the farm. It looked like something that would be satisfying --- after it was over. Love the Shenandoah Valley. We have to get back there some time.

  8. That is beautiful country and a very pretty farm. Are farms pretty? I am a city boy so don't know if that is a proper description or not. And those are a couple of good looking small mouth.