Black-flies, Hiccups, and “Tedding The Dew Off”

 We have been haying for 14 days straight!

What is it about this year? We had practically no snow during the winter, and the cold was not even too bad. Sugaring was a bust, one fast, warm week and it was over! No black flies and no complaints – I wonder if Adamant had its Blackfly Festival? And now haying…

I do not ever recall such a long stretch  of good June haying weather (rain free days and nights with a nice little breeze blowing)  in my 40 years of farming. While in the midst of the intense and very long days of the haying season, I find all distractions somewhat bothersome…having to go to the dentist, graduation ceremonies, a weeklong bout of hiccups (I am not kidding), a son’s 16th birthday, Fathers Day, even a fly-in pancake breakfast in Rutland.

Seems like everything should just be put on hold for making hay. As a kid, I remember any plans that I or my siblings made, my dad seemed to always respond, “depends on haying”. With no distractions, the grass would be mowed in a timely fashion, tedding (an implement that spreads out and turns over the hay, putting the green side up or as some call it, “fluffing”) would be done early and often, fields would be raked and baled and hay would be stacked in the hay mow.

Dad still uses that line today.

Tedding implement pulled by small tractor

“tedding” one of the hay fields

When I first moved to Cabot, I would get a ribbing from the local farmers for my “tedding the dew off” which Dad always said would hasten drying time up to three hours. His unscientific belief was that it breaks the surface tension of dew water droplets, which would then evaporate faster. Always made sense to me, so I would respond to those skeptical farmers that the only reason their fathers  did not tell them to “ted the dew off” was because they did not have there morning chores done early enough!

raking the hay field

raking

rear view of raking

raking

I acquired a new-to-me rake from Dad last summer. It is gangly , a little awkward, and big, but has cut the time I spend raking in half! Gives the term “creative windrow” a whole new meaning.

baler and wago at under orion farm

baling (photo Rollin)

the kicker on the end of the baler

” the kicker” on the end of the baler (photo Rollin)

hay wagon

Loaded in the wagon. Windsock in foreground. It is too bad that the best flying time and baling time are the same, so flying “depends on haying”. (photo Rollin)

So with close to 3000 bales stacked in the hay mow, and just two more fields to mow, one more that is ready to bale, this crazy summer is working out just about right.

loading the hay elevator - under orion farm

loading the hay elevator

moving bales on the elevator to the hay mow

Into the barn

The hay mow

Stacked in the barn!

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2 responses to “Black-flies, Hiccups, and “Tedding The Dew Off”

  1. You haven’t seen a creative windrow ’til you have seen mine! XOXO…. JLA

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