I know I have a terrible habit of talking about the British weather but once again it proved how rubbish it can be and nearly destroyed all our hay for the winter! However, I am pleased to say that after a 24hr rainy spell, the sun reappeared and we now have all 420 bales nicely stored in the barn. Hurrah! (See video above!)
Well, it's when the grass in the fields is cut, dried and with the help of a tractor and a baling machine, is forced into compact cylindrical or rectangle shapes and tied with string or plastic, ready to be stored until it is required in the winter months to feed livestock or horses, or for your rabbits or guinea pigs at home!
From the start of spring certain fields are chosen by the farmer for the hay crop that will be left to grow without having any livestock (cows, sheep, horses) put onto them.
Once the grass reaches a certain height and the weather is dry and warm, using a tractor with a large mower attached, the grass will be cut and left to dry out for around two days.
Assuming there has been no rain, the farmer will then revisit the fields that have been cut and using a hay spinner, which is attached to the back of the tractor, the cut grass will be turned and spun, allowing for every blade to have a chance to dry in the sun and wind.
A couple of days later the farmer will push all the cut grass into channels up the field. He will then attach his baling machine and will drive over each channel. The grass is forced into the front of the baling machine, gets sucked in and is then compacted into a bale shape (in our case small rectangles), tied with baling twine and 'spat' out the back into a bale collector, which once full, will open and dump the five bales onto the field, ready to be collected.
All the bales are collected into a trailer and taken to the barn where they are stored for the winter.
This year my sister had a lot of support from a great team of ladies from her village who came and helped so a huge thanks to all of them for their hard work and perseverance! Oh and a special thanks to Jo, who provided the big bag of Danish pastries and sandwiches, which kept up our energy levels throughout the afternoon!