Bales of Summer

If I were to ever daydream about an "image" of myself as a farmer (which I NEVER would do, of course) it would most likely include hay. Tossing a bale on to a truck, out in the field mowing a great crop, feeding a bale to some critters. My whole perception of and reality of farming is tied intricately to hay. Thinking about it, cutting it, drying it, watching the weather for it, the equipment for it, feeding it, the feeling of getting a bunch "put up", and yes.... rolling in it. It is just an absolutely essential aspect of my life and our brand of farming.

Notice the clover blossom in the upper left....summer

I have been especially mindful of that lately as I start to fret about the never ending question. "Will we make it through the winter with what we have.... ???? I can say with certainty that we will not, I have known that since the day we started feeding hay... but I can't help myself.

Maybe we will make it. My math could be wrong. We could get green grass in late April. Maybe what we have will just , just, just, just, be enough?

It is not all romance, let me tell you. There is a good deal of stress that goes along with hay making... True Story: I know a farmer in Vermont, awesome guy, a real throw back. He is our source for our dark faced sheep, the Clun Forests. He talks about this awesome pocket watch he has, you know the one, on a chain and it slips out of the pocket each time he needs to know the time. A beautiful piece of machinery. A gift. Well, he started to notice that each year around haying time his watch stopped working.. he took it in... nothing wrong with it... "Come to find out" the intense changes in his body's "electric charge" around the haying stress and anxiety would STOP his watch. Now that is stress.

See what I mean?

Anyway, the whole point of this post was to describe the little moments you get deep in the winter. The moments when you crack open a beautiful bale of hay and you can literally smell summer... the air, the grass, the fields... its like right there. Amazing to be in touch with that in late February.