As the dogs and I were walking down the lane this morning we encountered Adam Bowman, our Farm Manager. When we stopped to talk I sensed a note of relief in his voice as he informed me that the particular load of straw on the wagon he was driving was one of the last of the season.
It is difficult to overestimate the kind of tension that the hay and straw harvests bring each year. The weather, of course, is the great determinant in this process and monitoring the forecasts becomes rather obssessive while it is underway. This year, finding 4 day periods without rain were extremely challenging.
Then, once the weather does cooperate there are the hours and hours spent on the tractor: cutting, raking and baling. This is often done over several days. Thereafter, bales have to be unloaded and put into the barn. For that part, at least 5 strong people need be available for the many hours of sweating labour required while they unload the tons of hay and straw and place it in the mow. Temperatures always seem to be in the high 30’s whenever that takes place.
One can appreciate that when the harvest is finally finished, and the thousands of bales are snugly in place, there is often a great, slow exhalation of breath. We can relax: the animals’ nutritional needs will be met during the coming winter. Thank you Adam, Kayla, Sarah, Stephanie and everyone else who worked so hard to make this happen.
Sandra Pady, Founder