Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Out With the Old, In With the New
When we first moved here in 2008, we got our hay from Leahaven, taking six rolls from our third of what Tony made there. We used three of the rolls that first winter, but when the 2009 hay was put up, we decided to get six more anyway. So we made three trips from Leahaven, bringing two rolls each trip. We didn't have a tractor at the time, so we manhandled the 1100 lb. rolls off the trailer and into position in the barn. Imagine our dismay, after getting all six rolls in place, to find out that they were wet and moldy all the way through! They were completely useless! We had to use the previous year's hay that winter. A few weeks ago, while keeping the horses up at the barn to treat Angel's injury, we ran out of the old hay and used up the hay we put up by hand this summer. Time for new hay, but first we had to get rid of the old. Fortunately, having a tractor to get it out of the barn made it much easier than getting it in!
This year we decided to give up on free hay and simply leased the Leahaven fields to Tony. That gave us money to buy hay locally from someone who was recommended to us. Once the rotten old rolls were out of the barn, we swept up what we could, then bleached the whole area to remove the moldy scum left behind. Then we rinsed the barn to remove the bleach odor, and dried it with a barn-sized hairdryer--the leaf blower! I arranged the pallets we bought to keep the hay off the floor while Herb went to get it. As you can see, Beast II has joined the Kubota as a valued part of the team!
For those of you who aren't familiar with rolls of hay, this is how you're supposed to handle them--not by hand! The loader comes off the tractor and the hay spear goes on. You aim the hay spear, pierce the side of the roll, then tip it up so it stays in place, and lift it up.
Keeping the Bush-Hog on back of the tractor helps to balance the tractor so the 1000 lb. roll of hay on front doesn't tip the back wheels off the ground!
Then you drive the tractor into the barn, lower the roll of hay into place, and back up to pull the hay spear out. Then you go back and do it again.
I was a little nervous watching Herb go after the last roll in the bed of the truck. I was silently chanting, "Please don't hit that truck! Please don't hit that truck!" He didn't! He's got a pretty good aim and knows how to maneuver the tractor in the barn, too. It's not as easy as you might think.
When we were done, we had four big rolls of hay sitting on pallets in a nice clean barn. A good day's work! We need two more rolls for the winter, having Sara's extra mouth to feed now and a calf on the way, so we'll make another trip on a day when our hay supplier has time. It will be good to know that the barn is full of hay for the winter!