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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hay Season

Since Saturday we've been sweating bullets. We had a tiny, a very tiny, rainless window of opportunity to get our hay cut, kicked, raked and baled without it being ruined by rain. There are almost four dozen head of livestock, horses and sheep, here at Thistle Cove Farm and the horses have to have good forage for the winter. Forage that we put up during the summer months.

We "share" our hay which means we fertilize and lime the pasture, put up sturdy fences, etc. and someone else puts up the hay then we split the yield 50/50. By the time the other folks got here on Saturday, they only had time to get one pass completed on the alfalfa pasture before darkness fell.
Oh Lordy.

They came back on Sunday and cut a bit more then their equipment broke down. We haven't any haying equipment and their equipment is a "trifle" ancient but it does work...most of the time. Farming is Very Expensive and it's tough on anyone starting out...especially young folks and, we all do the best we can with what we've got.

This stomach churning stress inducing "haying" went on until Wednesday, late afternoon, when, finally, the last straw happened. Their tractor wheel fell off. Yes. The tractor wheel fell off. We all wanted to cry but that wouldn't solve anything; we still had the rain storm to beat.

Long story rained buckets, Absolute Buckets, all around us but rain only danced on the blades of grass and stalks of grain, it didn't soak our hay field. The skies were black, it rained so hard, fast and furious, the skies emptied hail.

Everywhere except our hay field. What a GIFT! What a BLESSING! Yes, I stood outside and prayed the rain would pass us by and it did. "Ye have not because ye ask not." Well, this is one Sister who does not hesitate to "cast my cares upon Him for He careth for ME!" You as well, by the way, so cast up those prayers.

A neighbor , Very Graciously, was pressed into service and he finished baling the hay in just a few hours. The bales are Absolutely Lovely! Five feet by five feet in size...we were told they would go at least a ton meaning two thousand pounds...sigh. Absolutely Lovely!

Our horses and sheep will have hay this winter; thank You GOD!!

Yes, it really IS this exciting when we're able to put up dry hay. I raise rare breed, primitive Shetland and Romney, Merino and cross bred sheep only for their wool. No one has to worry about being sent to market, ending up on the dinner plate...everyone has a job and that job is to grow fabulous fleece. They do an incredible job and a lot of factors enter into the mix. My sheep eat wonderfully well, drink crystal clear mountain water and eat an incredible mineral salt supplement. All this plus no stress means their fleeces are excellent and turn into beautiful yarn, roving, blankets and other goodies.

It requires work, lots and lots of dirty, sweaty, hard work but is it ever worth it! Today, Thursday, my helpers and I went to the pasture and gleaned some hay. I do this every time we cut hay and find great pleasure in gleaning some treats, in the form of freshly cut hay, for the horses. I managed to get in two Workhorse loads before the skies emptied again of rain and hail. My "helpers" are a bit frightened of terrific storms so we skuttled back to the barn and house before the lightening turned horrific.

Tonight was Quilting Bee and we worked on Kat's quilt...we all sat around and quilted a top her Mother had pieced together many years ago. It's a pleasant way to finish a day that began at dawn and a gift that will warm many times over...both in the making and in the using when the cold snows and winds blow. Someone will sleep under this quilt and be warmed by the work of our hands and heart.


~DRY hay!
~rain to start the process all over again
~good neighbors
~quilters and quilts
~good help
~parts for the old tractor...hopefully...

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Jennifer, at Desert Garden Farms, hosted a delightful Garden Yarn Swap and I'm the happy, happy, happy receiver of Laura's package. I adore using an old fashioned fountain pen and it will be especially lovely when used on this hand crafted paper by Laura. The handspun yarn is a delicious bulky blend of purple, yellow and green and will undergo much fondling before being used!

Blessings ~

~swaps and those who arrange and participate
~rain, much needed and appreciated even though we need to cut hay
~Fiber Femmes site and blog
~good health for all at Thistle Cove Farm
~Dave's quilt - almost finished!
~another beautiful, and just about perfect, day
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