A Farmer’s work is never done

Farmers work from dawn to dusk, and often much longer than that. Growing, cutting, tedding, baling and storing hay is a huge part of their lives during the summer months. The expression “make hay while the sun shines” rings true! The farmer who owns the fields around our home has a crew working from first to last light to take advantage of the respite in the wet weather we’ve had all spring and early summer.

Sunrise over the hills of Picadilly, NB

On the first day they cut. In this case, the farmer has several fields so once he gets two or three fields cut, everything rolls along like clockwork. As one field gets “tedded” (the hay raked into rows and ‘fluffed’ so it can dry in the sun), another gets baled. When the baling is done, the wagons arrive to take the string mesh wrapped bales away to the main farm where they are plastic wrapped for storage.

Let the baling begin.

It’s fascinating to watch how quickly it all happens. No time or effort is wasted.

Baled and awaiting transport to the farm

In hours the field will be totally empty and ready to start growing a second crop for the season. Some farmers are really lucky and get three cuts from their fields if the conditions are right.

It makes me think back to how hay used to be harvested. It was cut and tedded, but the balers were smaller and produced smaller, rectangular bales that later had to be hand loaded into wagons and then hand loaded into hay lofts. Before then, hay was cut either by hand with a scythe or with a mechanical mower towed by a horse or two. The loose hay was then hand forked into wagons, driven to the barn and hand forked into a loft to store for the winter. Both methods were very labour intensive compared to today’s methods with large bales handled by tractors with huge forks on the front.

A large round bale awaiting pickup.

To be honest, I’m glad our hay humping days are done. Even with the few hundred smaller square bales we handled every year to feed my horse, Beau, it was hot, sticky, itchy and exhausting work.

White lilac tree flower

My farming these days consists of watching my perennials look after themselves and planting a few colourful flower boxes on my deck railing.

My favourite flowers grow on the roadsides and in the ditches, happily looking after themselves, saving me a lot of work. They wave cheerily as we pass by.

Simple daisies looking after themselves.

This entry was posted in appreciation, BLOG, farming, New Brunswick, seasons and tagged .

4 Comments

  1. Chester July 9, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

    As always,CECI, you have captured the “haying” season and scenes with professional, yet totally understandable accuracy. Your descriptive wording brought memories to this fellow and I could not help but re experience the heat, exhaustion and almost feeling of the season NEVER getting over. I recall days on the farm when there was not even the rectangular bales you mention, and harvest was all from fork, rake , and horse drawn delivery. Thank you for a FINE message.

    • Images by Ceci July 10, 2017 at 5:44 am #

      Thank you Chester. This is my favourite time of year as the scent of the new mown hay drifts up to our deck and fills me with joy.

  2. Judi Stiles July 8, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    This view at this time of year is my favourite of all seasons up on your little mountain!

    • Images by Ceci July 8, 2017 at 4:47 pm #

      Mine too. The smells and sights of the season tickle my fancy.

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