It will be time to start cutting hay before too long, and once again we won’t be doing do it. We outsourced that job last year and I’m already feeling nostalgic about it.
It’s been a year now since we sold our hay equipment. I don’t regret getting rid of it. Even though it feels wrong to me to buy something that we could produce here ourselves, considering how little hay we use it made no sense for us make our own. For the price of the equipment we can buy all the hay we need for a long, long time and we no longer have to worry about maintenance of the equipment. And now when we bring in hay from other farms we’re importing nutrients, instead of just shuffling them around on our place.
But I’ll confess there are some things about “hay days” that I miss.
For us it was always a family affair. Our daughter, beginning when she was about 13, would drive the truck. Our son would stack the bales on the trailer, and I’d toss them up to him. Cherie kept us fed and hydrated (or sometimes she drove the truck and I loaded, if our son was still baling). Those kind of family work days are all too rare nowadays. With our children grown and gone now, they’re not possible here anymore either.
I don’t miss worrying about rain ruining the hay before it’s out of the field, or about putting it up too wet and burning down the barn. But I did like the satisfying feeling at the end of a long hot day of baling, loading and unloading hay, working together as a family. I do miss that.