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.
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!
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.
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.