Monday, June 28, 2010

Grace Valley Farms First Hay Cutting of 2010

When the hay is ready, it is cut and placed into long rows called windrows.

The field in front of our house is about 10 acres.

The grass, legume, and forb mixture was beautiful and tall.

Our neighbor, Mr. D., cut the hay for us.

One of the legume species we planted several years ago is called sainfoin (pronounced san-foin). It is a non-bloat legume and produces beautiful pink flowers.

The east field is about 20 acres

After the hay dries, it is baled.

The yield was tremendous!

While the hay was drying, we experienced several rain showers. Although the rain has a modest negative impact on nutrition, it really bleaches the nice bright green color out, leaving a more drab olive color.

As the baler works, the bales seem to just pop up.

Soon the fields are covered with bales.

The bales leave beautiful geometric designs in the fields.

Soon after baling, a fellow farmer brings his self-propelled bale wagon over to pick up and stack the bales. He can drive through the fields at speeds approaching 30 mph!

Although it is 40 years old, the machine is still a marvel to watch.

After stacking, it is important to cover the bales to prevent damage from rain storms.

Doug and Sally work to tie down one of the hay tarps.

All done...! The hay is stacked, tarped, and ready for sale! We ended up with 2,707 bales from our first cutting!

1 comment:

stringplayer said...

Congratulations on such a huge yield. Loved the pics showing the steps from field to bale. Very educational. Will you be taking any more cuts from this field, and will the sheep be dining on some of the yield?

Barbara