Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Making Hay

Still hot as Hades, but just what we need to get some hay in the barn.  Last year was perfect - all the equipment was working and the operation went smoothly.  I had high hopes for the same scenario this year, but farming doesn't work that way.  Murphy's Law refers to problems an Air Force officer was having with an operation, but it could easily apply to farming.   When Julia's mower was broken,  Matt fixed it, but then the tractor was broken and Clinton tractor came out to fix it.  Now the mower is broken again.  With this run of hot dry days slipping away I was a bit worried.  Enter Dennis Owens, a Brookfield farmer who Julia helped out recently with another hay issue.  He returned Julia's favor by mowing my fields.  And so it goes with farmers helping each other out.  Matt is up there raking the hay - turning it over for drying and setting up rows for baling - on his '46 8N.  The next step is for Julia to come over and turn it into round bales.  I won't be out of the woods yet.  It still remains to be seen who is going to bring it down to the barn before it gets rained on.  All this trouble is worth it, as it will prevent me from having to get hay in during the winter, in the bad weather.  My sheep are getting FAT on all this green grass.  This time last year the hillside was dusty dry.  Now it's covered with a bed of clover with clumps of lovely green grass here and there.  The daily drama continues.  In the meantime Hannah and Luke are taking it easy.  Annie is coming to bring them back to Maine and Boy Scout camp next week.  Matt is travelling to LI to teach weatherization all week long.   I will immerse myself in wool and other fiber crafts.  I am sitting directly in front of a large fan while I write, otherwise I might wilt and become totally distracted, unable to focus.  It's 80 F. in the house.   There is a conspicuous absence of house flies this year, even with all the wet weather we've had.  This time last year I was hanging up fresh fly strips in the kitchen every day.  Maybe the five thousand chickens in the barnyard are earning their keep.  Chickens love flies!  The DMV came to Bridgewater, 15 miles north of here, for the one morning a month they offer services to we country people.  I turned in the plates for the old van I gave to a favorite student so he could get to his job, given to him by another teacher's family business.  I was in a line with some scruffy, all white, farmer types, a far cry from motor vehicle in my home town of Morristown, New Jersey, which could be mistaken for an immigration services agency.  Only four hours away but different as night and day.  I stocked up on chocolate ice creme for Luke and Matt.   I  bought a bag of vegetables from an Amish woman on the side of the road.  She was under a tree, with no horse attached to a buggy in the sun, which really irritates me.  I bought potatoes for Hannah which she loves dripping with butter, and various veggies including some swiss chard for our one bunny.  I bought a box of peas and ate them raw all the way home.  Delicious.  On deck for today, more sewing, which is a good way of being productive while not moving very much.  Why, oh why, did I not buy more fans when I was in town with the kids at the movies???

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