Saturday, September 1, 2012

Making Hay 2012

Last week we helped my in-laws hay their fields and pack it away in their loft. This is no easy task when Grandpa Smith insists it gets done the "mostly traditional" way. The hay is cut, teddered, and raked using an ancient Farmall H, which is literally held together with baling wire. At least this year we didn't have to jury-rig the hay rake like in 2009. (For that story check out this link: )

After raking, the hay is deposited on alternating sides of the ancient truck. This is a pieced together thing from the 1930's that serves as our hay wagon. The hay is pitchforked from the ground up on to the truck where it is packed by the youngest kids. This year that duty fell to Rachel and Samantha. If you've ever read Little House On The Prairie, this is the same way Laura and her Pa made hay in the 1850's (well, minus the tractors and truck. But those are only recent additions to my in-laws' operation. Until about twenty years ago, they used horses). The last time we went to Old Sturbridge Village the curator was amazed that the girls knew the names of the different types of hay forks. Sam explained that his parents still use them for making hay.

Rachel and Abby


Rachel, Abby, and Samantha wait for the next pass of the tractor.

Still can't keep Grandpa Smith off the tractor!

Rachel on the stack.

After the hay is piled and packed onto the truck it is driven over to the barn where it is off-loaded and packed (again, by kids stomping on it) into the hay loft. The bigger kids do this job as they are heavier and can pack it tighter.
Abby packs the hay into the loft.

Grandma and Grandpa Smith overseeing the operation.
We then drive back over to the hay field and do it all over again. 

Samantha learning how to catapult the hay onto the stack.

When we are finished, the kids all tromp over to Grandma's house where she makes
H-U-G-E Black Cows (basically a Root Beer float, for the uninitiated) for them to enjoy. We drive home with the air conditioner on high and give thanks for the baled hay and hay conveyor at our farm!

The Donkeys (Hay consumers)

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