It’s Hay Cuttin’ Time

It’s been an exciting week here at Mellor Ranch, i.e. hay cutting week.  This time John was able to do it himself with his new farm equipment.  Mind you, that requires three heavy duty attachments for the tractor –  the swather, rake, and baler.  (I’m just learning about this whole new world of tractor attachments too.)  I guess our hobby farm is becoming a lot more serious these days.  I’m waiting for the day when John quits his real job to become a full-time rancher/farmer.  I think this is what gets him through corporate life.  Anyway, we wanted to share this initiation process into the hay cutting world.  It’s kind of a big deal out here in the country.

It’s a pretty simple process, but the machines are kind of big and scary. First you cut the hay, then the hay has to dry out for 3 – 5 days during which time you pray it doesn’t rain because that can ruin hay, then you bale the hay, and lastly you stack the hay in the barn.  Apparently making good hay is primarily about Mother Nature, but the equipment makes it a lot more fun.

I was able to capture all of the hay cutting events with my new camera (which I’m still figuring out).  Thanks, John, for such a great surprise birthday present!  So yes, there are a lot of pictures but hey, it’s a new camera.

Might be the best day of his life. (Well, besides our wedding day and the birth of our first child.)

Step one – the swather, which is a fancy name for the machine that cuts the hay.  Kind of like a big lawn mower.

Yep, this is what he lives for.

Step two – figuring out the rake. So, during the 3 – 5 days the hay is drying, you can speed up that process by “raking” the hay which means exactly what it sounds like. It flips the hay from the bottom to the top and therefore the hay gets more evenly dried. The result is a row of hay called a windrow.

Step three – baling.  This is the most amazing part of all.  This single machine sucks up the hay windrows, packs them into nice little square bales, and then ties a string around them.  And it does it with NO electronics, just power from a spinning shaft that hooks to it from the tractor.

Most of the time, I just want Prissy’s life.

Finally, step four – picking up the bales (the hard part), and stacking them in the shed.  We got almost 2 tons of hay from this cutting which will last for many months into the winter.

And, that’s a wrap.  Until next hay cutting…

One response

  1. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU JOHN AND THE PICGTURES ARE FABULOUS KELSI. I WOULD NEVER HAVE BELIEVED YOU COULD ACCOMPLISH THAT. YOU REMIND ME MORE EVERY DAY OF MY FATHER AND I WISH WE HAD NAMED YOU WILSON FORREST MELLOR AND CALLED YOU BILL. PLEASE TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF THOUGH – I’M NOT SURF ANYONE ELSE COULD TAKE YOUR PLACE DOING THAT. I KNOW HOW FUSSY YOU ARE ABOUT YOUR HAY SO IT MUST BE TOPS. I KNOW CHARLOGTTE WILL LEARN HOW TO HELP YOU. I LOVE YOU BOTH SO-O-O- MUCH. IT LOOKS GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT. MOM/BARBARA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: