Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Make hay while the sun shines - or else!

I haven't seen my husband for 24 hours.  He's at his dad's place helping to bale a field of hay.  My father-in-law had tirelessly ploughed the paddock, planted a lucerne crop, irrigated it and watched it grow.  When the time was right (he thought) he went back out with his tractor and cut the hay.  Ordinarily, he would then bale the hay and store it in his shed until it was sold to those requiring hay for horses or weaners or other purposes.
Not so this time.  The time was apparently not right for cutting hay.  The night that he finished, an unpredicted storm swept through his property and the hay got a good soaking.  So what? I wondered.  Apparently, this meant that the entire crop of hay was ruined.  My husband explained to me that the goodness leaches out of they hay after it has been wet.  If only my father in-law had waited just one more day.  We haven't had rain since.  But the weather forecasts are not so good as to predict exact rainy days or nights and our good farmers take some huge gambles every time they plant a crop.
So now the entire field of hay cannot be sold.  My husband is in there baling because what else can they do?  He is going to bring the hay here today and we will use it, for whatever feed value is left.  I will certainly have enough mulch for my veggie garden for years to come.
So that's my farm fact #3 Hay is ruined after one shower of rain. That's about as much of "Farming" as I know.  Can you contribute your own farm facts?  What crops do you grow?  What are some gambles that you take when you plant or harvest?  Isn't it really such a miracle that we get to eat at all?

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