We all know the saying "make hay while the sun shines". In our neck of the woods, that's a literal instruction. Yesterday I was able to leave the little farm hand with my mother-in-law so I could go rake hay with my father-in-law. Having three generations of the family living on the same farm is a real blessing, especially when it comes to things like realizing that there's no good way to take a six month old on a tractor for an entire afternoon. Charlotte always seems to enjoy spending time with her grandparents, and they sure seem to get a kick out of her.
Part of being a grass-based operation is having grass year round, which in Iowa means hay. The cold, wet weather in May meant that the first crop of hay was about a week behind schedule, but this warm spell is sure helping us catch up. Jim mowed hay Sunday, while I mowed the yard (which could have been baled). After a few days in the sun it was ready to be raked.
The haybine cuts the hay and lays it out flat to dry, then we rake it in to rows so it dries on the other side and the baler can pick it up more easily. I brought out my 8N Ford Roberta, while my father-in-law drove his Allis-Chalmer D15. Two fairly functional bar rakes and we were in business.
Now that it's had another morning to get all the dew off and finish drying out, Jim will take our new to us round baler out after lunch and get our bales made. We put up round bales for the cattle and sheep, small square bales that are easier to feed to smaller groups, and rotobales (tiny round bales) of straw because they're fun and super convenient for bedding. The small squares and the rotobales will go up in to the hayloft to be used during the winter, while the round bales will be wrapped and lined up out of the way.