Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Are You an Artist?

Do you know how to paint a beautiful picture? Can you mold a lump of clay into a wonderful sculpture? Are you able to take an amazing landscape portrait? Do you make art with your music and your voice? Well, I don't really know much about any of those, but I do know one thing...

Baling Hay Is An Art!!

Now, before you think I am absolutely crazy let me explain... First of all you need to know when is the perfect time to cut the hay. This isn't something that goes by calendar or clockwork, it is an art to know the perfect moment to cut to get the perfect hay. Secondly, you need to know when to rake and how to rake your hay. This isn't something that you do a certain number of hours after the cutting ... it is an art ... it is a feeling. Next you need to bale your hay, which means you have to set the tension just right, make the bales just the right size, and make sure you get all the hay into the baler. Finally, comes the most artful part of the art of haymaking. You need to stack the bales onto your hayrack and then into the barn. Getting them in an orderly manner is no pell-mell operation. You must know just where to place each bale so all your corners are tied in and the rack is ready to go down the road ... oh, and it helps if you can go six or seven levels up! Then into the barn it goes.

We stack our bales on the sides so all of the stems are sticking up and down instead of stacking them in the normal way. We do this because that is the way grandpa did it ... no, really that is the way grandpa did it, but it also helps the moisture wick out.

Yesterday we baled around 600 fifty pound small square bales of grass hay down at the farm. It was a warm day and lots of hard work. Even though I'm sore now I enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed the warm breeze ... I enjoyed working as a family ... I enjoyed the sound and feel of the tractor and baler ... I enjoyed the scratchy hay ... I enjoyed the art (I guess I should say I enjoyed learning the art)

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