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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.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

 ~ cutting the hay field ~
Last week John F. cut our hay on Tuesday with the idea we'd kick and bale on Wednesday. Remember the saying, "Man plans, God laughs"? It's true. Wednesday morning at 6:30 I let the dogs outside and, while standing on the back porch, heard a soft rustling. I looked at the trees but couldn't see them being moved by the wind. In the time it took for this to register, the skies opened and it began to pour. Then, it proceeded to pour, off and on, all day long. My heart sank. I was really, really counting on this hay being baled for square hay and stored in the barn loft. So, I did what I could do and that was look up to heaven and say, "Well God, if you want your hay to get wet, it's all right with me."  Even so, my heart still sank.
~ almost finished ~
Probably, I should have taken photos of the hay field while rain was pouring down but I just couldn't. Every time I looked, and I looked plenty, my heart just sank. Square hay keeps much longer than round hay and is better in protein and more nutritious for my animals. Round bales have more loss because they are set on the ground and the loss comes from being in contact with the ground. Square hay is stored in the hay loft, away from weather and will keep for a few years.

Thursday dawned bright, sunny and hot. Perfect hay curing weather but the men who help us couldn't help on Thursday. All day long, I would wander to the window and stare at our cut hay on the ground.

Friday morning was much like Thursday morning and hope dawned as a spark. Around 11:00, John M. came over to tether the hay...put it up in rows so the hay could dry easier and the baler could pick it up easier. A little later, Red came to bale it and by 2:30 the first wagon was loaded and ready to go to the barn.
~ ready for the barn loft ~
~ Bob, Daniel, Red and Tom ~
I was so over the moon, this is the last photo of the day. I totally forgot to take photos of the men loading the hay into the loft, which they did until 7:30. We were expecting rain at 6:00 but it held off... Praise God! All 377 bales of hay were put up dry and Daniel said it was the prettiest hay he's seen this year. God was so gracious and good to us; we have DRY hay and that's a miracle in any farmer's book.
~ beautiful, beautiful hay ~
What, you may well ask, does this have to do with you? Not much other than it's the age old story of farming and food. If you've eaten lately, thank a farmer. If you've used electricity lately, thank a coal miner. Both farmers and miners put their lives on the line every single day so we can eat and read by a light bulb and not candle light. Farmers are at the mercy of weather - rain, snow, sleet, sun shine - and it's a crap shoot, so to speak, every single day. Crops live and die due to the lack or over abundance of rain; animals live and die due to the lack or over abundance of snow, sleet, hail. A farmer gets up in the morning, every single morning, and goes out and does what needs doing so the rest of us can eat.

Think about it the next time you shop at the grocery store, or, better yet, shop at your local farmers' market. Think about it and then...thank a farmer.

Blessings ~ rain, in season ~ sun, in season ~ dry hay ~ farmers ~ miners ~ food ~ John F. ~ John M. ~ Bobby ~ Tommy ~ Red ~ Daniel ~ Doug ~ David ~

Grace and Peace,


  1. That really brings back memories of hot hot August days and baling hay for our horses for winter - we used square bales then too - up here it's mostly the big round ones...

  2. I felt your pain when you said it rained off and on all day. We fight this every year, but have always been blessed with beautiful hay.

    I can almost smell it, love fresh hay!

  3. I love, love, love this post! Thank a famer, indeed! I wish there were more local co-ops and farmer's markets where I am. We seek them out whenever and wherever we can.

    I'm smelling fresh mown hay and remembering my uncle's hay stacks we used to clamber across.

    Thanks for the rememberings :)

  4. yep i agree. thanks to all the farmers! it is hard just growing my tiny garden. i can't even imagine how much time, hardwork, sacrifice and love is put into a farm! yours is absolutely beautiful and i thank you for always sharing your photos!

  5. What a wonderful post, Miss Sandra. I'm thinking more about this with getting ready to help Bobbett with her many produce gardens that are now planted in Fall crops or being put to bed for the year. I thought about it today when I had boiled eggs for lunch, and how it may be my own eggs I'm eating in about 8 months or so. We have so much thanks to give farmers, and miners. Even the lamp oil I will be using is something that I will be thankful for once I move. Thanks for the reminder. Take care, from KY.

  6. My husband grew up on a farm. I dare not ever complain when we drive down the highway past the big farms in the country. I just hold my nose and my smart aleck remarks. He happens to like that 'country' air!

  7. I love looking at bales of hay and hadn't appreciated the effort that goes into it until reading your post.

  8. Ah the smell of fresh hay. I learned to drive a tractor at the early age of 12 or 13. I helped my father every year bail hay. I went off to business school with some rather rough hands and strong arms from hefting hay bails! I miss those days. I always liked the bumper sticker "Thank a farmer for the hops that made your beer" - I don't drink beer but I think that makes people think about farmers and what all they provide.

  9. Thinking...and thanking....

    Great post!

  10. Ah, sweet, sweet, freshly cut , baled and stacked hay. From your own property too. Yes Sandra, you and Dave are surely abundantly blessed!

  11. the so called small miracles of every day life are such huge miracles in reality - the right amount of sunshine, rain and hard work can result in the satisfaction of being prepared for a winter. Thanks for sharing with us! yes someone's hard work is responsible for all our comforts and necessities.

  12. Oh, sure wish we had some hay to bale! We have to buy all of pasture here in the desert, at least not where we are at.
    Thanks for visiting my blog Sandra, stop by again soon!


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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