…While the sun shines
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One of my favorite quotes from Joel is “Make hay while the sun shines.”  I think about this quote often. While the underlying idea can be applied to many aspects of life, it can also be taken quite literally.  Over the past 3 weeks we’ve taken Joel’s advice quite literally.

We’ve been blessed with great weather and have been making hay like it’s going out of style!

Making hay is a multi-step process. This year I’ve gotten to do or help with every step along the way! It’s exciting and fulfilling to see a field with shoulder high grass be turned into something that will help feed our animals over the winter.

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First step: mowing. In my opinion mowing is the most exciting of the entire process.  Running the mower was a new experience for me this year. It requires strategy, concentration, precision, and, sometimes, quick reflexes. There’s just something thrilling and satisfying about watching a waving green pasture turn into even rows behind the mower.

 0606141556aStep two: (optional) tedding. Tedding the hay just flips/spreads it so that it can dry faster and more evenly.

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Step three: raking. This is the last step before baling. Raking a tedded field is pretty fun. It also takes strategy. If you’re raking, you know that you’re the last person to move the hay before the baler comes through. So it’s your job to think about how the person baling is going to want to divide up the field to most efficiently bale. I love driving through a field of tedded hay and making nice clean windrows. I’ve decided that there are windrows, and then there are windrows. Most of what I raked this year windrows.

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We’ve made a LOT of hay already, and we’re still not done!

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About Hannah Hale

Hannah hails from McComb, Mississippi, where she farmed with her parents and three sisters. Home-schooled all her life, she grew up helping her grandfather on his Black Angus farm and working with her family to raise dairy goats, laying hens, and bees. Her love for animals blossomed through her involvement in 4-H and cattle showing. Hannah discovered Polyface through a lecture by Joel, and while reading his book You Can Farm, she realized that her life-long dream of farming could become a reality. The summer of 2013 saw Hannah a Polyface intern, and she was subsequently chosen to become an apprentice. Now married, Hannah helps her husband as they work as Polyface rental-farm managers. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Polyface team and learn from the best. In the future, Hannah wants to farm full-time and keep Jesus central in her life.
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6 Responses to …While the sun shines

  1. I always like hay season too, though I only get to observe the farmers around, not participate (except sometimes helping stack). I did put up a little bit for my sheep by hand with a scythe though. I didn’t put up much, but I hope to do a lot more next time. Have you all been doing the large or small square bales?

  2. Jubilee says:

    Cool that you got to mow, and rake, Hannah! That sounds like a challenge.
    It feels like we just got done with hay. Was that a year ago already?!

  3. I like hay season too, but tend to only be able to watch other farmers do their hay. I do get to stack small bales sometimes. I also put up a little hay for my sheep this year by hand with a scythe. I didn’t do enough though. I hope to do more next time. Have y’all been doing the large or small bales?

  4. Naomi Chaffee says:

    Good advice to make hay while the sunshines. I like to read your posts, and if your looking for suggestions, I would love to see a post about the feed carts for the laying hens. What are the specifics? What is it made from, how much does it hold and anything else about it that you think is important. Keep up the lovely posts!

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