What a change all of a sudden - summer at last. Last week sure was hot and sunny! We were able to do our first cutting of hay. The haying went well but harvest was light largely because the cows had been over much of the area already this year. Once Timothy grass heads out it won't grow much more and quality of the forage goes down so even if it is not very thick, it is better to cut it to let the light into the clovers and other grasses.
It takes an amazing amount of work to keep cows. They will eat about one bale of hay per day in the winter so we need about 2,000 bales in storage. First the hay is cut, then it is fluffed up with a machine called a tedder. Depending on the moisture and type of hay, this may have to be done more than once.
The hay is then raked into windrows where it may be left to dry a bit more before finally being ready to bale.
The hay is then baled at which time the hard part begins. All the bales have to be picked up and loaded on a trailer then stacked in the barn. Many farmers have gone to round bales to make it easier, but we prefer to stick with the small square bales at least for now. This allows us to feed the cows by hand in winter without the need to run a tractor in the cold weather.
All the while we are working to hard in the hottest part of the summer, the cows are resting easy in the shade of the trees without a care in the world.....
In veggie news, the heat has brought on a great summer squash and zucchini harvest. Cucumbers have started to yield too and the first cherry tomatoes are turning color. The squash and melons are growing quickly too. Overall, it looks like we are about a week behind last year so I think things will be OK.
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