Finally Cutting Hay

It’s after 9:30 as I sit down to write this, and I have to be up before five to pick the things we’re taking to the farmer’s market tomorrow.  Even during these long days, there just aren’t enough daylight hours to keep up.

I was finally able to start cutting our hay, nearly a month later than I would have preferred.  It’s just been too wet.  We need a minimum of five dry days to get it done.  I’m gambling that it won’t rain for a while.   But at this point I don’t feel I have a lot to lose.    If it spoils, I’ll just try to do better this fall.

There were plenty of great photo opportunities today, but alas, I forgot to take my phone (which is also my camera).

I rousted two fawns, and innumerable rabbits and mice.  The fawns had been hidden in the tall grass by their mothers and only ran when the mower was dangerously close.   Fawns are very pretty, but I’m not happy with our resident deer these days.  A couple of them walked through my cantaloupe garden, eating the tops out of many of the plants.  Having spent many long hours working that garden, and being fond of the melons, that greatly annoyed me.  Then this morning I discovered they’d done the same thing in my okra patch.  I can’t recall ever having deer eat okra and cantaloupe plants.  It’s not as if there isn’t anything else to eat these days.

After the farmer’s market it’s back to cutting hay.  Then in a couple of days (hopefully) I’ll start raking and baling it.  It will be nice to have it behind us.

6 comments on “Finally Cutting Hay

  1. shoreacres says:

    I hope your weather holds and everything goes without a hitch. (I’m assuming, of course, that you’re not using horses in your cutting, making any kind of hitch unnecessary.)

    An update: the chicken breasts I bought from the organic farm are wonderful. Not only is the taste amazing, I assumed a half would be a meal for me. Au contraire. Without added water, they don’t shrink in cooking. One $9 full breast = four meals for me, which is significantly less than the price of a fast-food grilled chicken sandwich. Even in strictly economic terms, that’s a deal. The reflexive argument that “organic’s too expensive” doesn’t necessarily hold true. One of those breasts could feed a family of four, especially if prepared in a stir-fry or some other dish that combined the meat with veggies, pasta and so on.

    Now, on to the beef.

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    • Bill says:

      Wonderful! Lately I’ve had several folks tell me that they had no idea (or in one case had forgotten) how good chicken is supposed to be. You make an excellent point about the added water in factory chickens. We had several customers at the farmers market today who bought veggies from us last week for the first time and came back today excited to buy more, raving about how great they were. It’s a good feeling (so I hope you’ll let your farmer know how much you’re enjoying the food he raised).

      I’m very interested to find out how you like the grass-fed beef.

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  2. Bob Braxton says:

    disappointing and sad

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    • Bill says:

      Yes and very frustrating. I talked to a neighbor who is a vegetable farmer this afternoon and he is just beside himself about it. The deer have destroyed his strawberries, tomatoes, green beans and corn and he can’t come up with any way to stop them (and he’s tried nearly everything). Luckily for us they’ve respected the net fencing we use but we don’t have enough of it to protect every garden. I could buy more but it’s very expensive and I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time till they start hopping over it.

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  3. Deer have been an issue for farmers here for a few years now, and not much has been done to resolve the problem – a committee was struck about 3 years ago, they submitted their recommendations 2 years ago, and now another committee has been convened to decide which options should be pursued. Sigh. Things look promising though – the poshest district in the nearby city has now been found by the deer, who are enjoying manicured landscaping and – gasp! – the golf courses – it has been on the front page of the newspaper twice this week. I feel sure action will be taken shortly. Not that I’m bitter about this, but no one was willing to do anything drastic while it was only their food supply, but threaten the roses and the golf greens and heads must roll.

    We got our hay done last week, but despite the forecast being for a straight week of no rain, we got rained on the day we cut, for about 2 hours, with another shower in the night. We did get a couple of good drying days after that, but it wasn’t a good start. The resident bald eagle pair and a couple of ravens had a literal field day, cleaning up all the wee creatures who were suddenly homeless – it’s kind of sad, but it’s a natural cycle as well.

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    • Bill says:

      It’s an exasperating problem. I wake up every morning wondering whether deer have put us out of business over night. Hopefully something positive will happen where you are. In Virginia it is my perception that the laws on hunting and game are controlled by the influence of “sportsmen” and hunting advocacy groups. These seem most frequently to be folks who like to dress up in hunting clothes a few times a year and drive from the suburbs out to the country to shoot at deer. I’m not bitter either. Grr….

      Sorry about your hay. I fret about it every year and this year has been especially frustrating. Ours seems to be drying well. I’ll cut more today then probably start raking tomorrow and hopefully baling on Tuesday. We’ll see what Mother Nature has to say about that.

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