This summer, for the first time in many summers, I did not cut, rake, bale or stack any hay. We made no hay this year.
Instead, we sold our hay equipment and will buy our hay from now on.
That may seem like a step back from self-reliance and sustainability, and in a sense it is. But I became convinced that we should focus on reducing our need for hay and buy what little hay we need. So we reduced our herd size and set aside a paddock in which to stockpile forage for the harshest winter months. And my rough guess is that what we got for the hay equipment is enough to buy us the hay we need for 15-20 years. And I no longer have to worry about maintenance, expensive repairs or burning down our barn.
It feels weird to look out at the fields that I would’ve hayed, and see them waist deep in grass and vegetation instead.
Cherie often tells me we should work smarter, not harder. Maybe this is a good step in that direction.