One of the tell-tale signs of summer is putting up hay.
The Farmer woke up one cool, cloudy morning and decided that he was going to start cutting hay. The weatherman made a prediction of low clouds but no rain, and The Farmer believed him.
Not me…I had often been duped into believing that the weatherman could actually predict the weather here in Missouri, and had finally come to the conclusion that whatever was reported on TV was never what was going to happen.
So being the “supporting” wife, I informed The Farmer that if he insisted on cutting hay on a day when every physical sign pointed to a wet weekend that I would emphatically say, “I told you so”, when he was raking up wet hay.
Fortunately, The Farmer was right (must be farmer intuition). He pressed on, even under the pressure of low lying clouds and an unyielding spouse, and was able to get the first field cut, tethered, raked, and baled before the rain came.
Cutting grasses while they are young and tender is best because the nutritional value is at its peak. It also makes more tender and tasty hay during the winter months (so I’ve been told).
The ideal time to cut hay is on a clear, warm, summer day, but sometimes that’s not possible, so The Farmer tethers the hay to dry it out faster. A tether machine picks up the hay and scatters it around to allow the hay to aerate. This step isn’t always necessary during really nice weather (just sayin’).
We stack our hay and then cover it with a tarp. This is the first field and the first cutting. It really looks like a good year for hay, which is encouraging, because we had to buy a lot of our hay last year because of the drought.