Over the weekend it was haying time here on our farm. We only cut one field because rain was in the forecast for today (Monday). It isn't a big field, maybe 5-8 acres, and we got just under 400 square bales.
The hay is cut on one day, and then if it's dry it's raked into rows and baled the next day. It's the baling and picking up and stacking in the barn that is the most labor intensive part of the job. Not to mention hot. Everyone who helps in the field and with the loading of the barn is hot and dirty and sticky at the end of the day. And hungry.My job has evolved into being the cook, for the most part. I don't really need to throw hay bales anymore because all of the kids are so capable and they really don't need me out there as much as they need a good meal when they're done. There are usually volunteers helping so I usually end up making a big meal for about 20 people...if you count the tag-along little kids who come to "help".
They aren't picky about what is served as long as its filling. When they all come to eat I try to have everything ready with some cold drinks and a nice dessert waiting. Yesterday, with my daughter-in-laws help, I grilled burgers, roasted potatoes, baked beans, made some salads, and had a big fruit pizza chilling.
Haying is hard work and even though it seems like we are a culture of folks who are sold on the benefits of every little labor-saving device that comes along, I have found that the people who participate in doing this hard days work have an all-around satisfied look on their faces at the end of the day. They are usually exhausted but in great spirits and full of laughs.
I suspect that the kids, when they are older, will look back and cherish the days of doing hay. They will tell their families about the hard work of it all, but I am betting that they will remember it all quite fondly.