While The Sun Shines

Photo Credit: Wonder Sighter on Flickr

Photo Credit: Wonder Sighter on Flickr

You’ve heard it said, “make hay while the sun shines!”  That saying has never been truer in our neck of the woods lately.  We’ve had one of the wettest springs that I can remember.  Months of rain.

The problem is, hay can’t be made in the rain and I’ve learned that once it’s cut it needs to be baled before it rains again.  If not, then it’s ruined.  Our farmers are having a hard time finding enough days dry to cut and bale.  The price of hay this winter might be higher because the supply is probably going to be down due to all the rain…..the fields look nice and boy are they growing, but once the grass goes to seed, it’s not good either.  There’s a real tight window for farmers.

I was making calls yesterday for Alfalfa Hay.  It’s at a premium here in Howard County going for $6.00-$7.00/bale.  We only have about 4-5 dairy farms left.  Mostly we have horse farms here on the rolling hills of Central Maryland.  So, there’s plenty of Orchard Grass & Timothy Hay.  In fact, one farmer is having a “sale” on Orchard Grass Hay today and tomorrow…..I guess a 4th special….who ever thought….so, even though I don’t have room for my winters supply, at $3.00 a bale, I’ll make room somewhere…..maybe the kids bedrooms! 😉   I’ll get a couple and see if my Josie even likes it.  Then I’ll go back for maybe…..50.  I’ll mix the Alfalfa & Orchard Grass for the winter months of milking.

In my mini van with no back seats, I can get (12) 40lb bales!  Not bad!

But, back to Alfalfa….there are only a couple farms close by that grow Alfalfa.  One happens to be on Honey’s way to and from work.  This particular farmer hasn’t been able to get out and cut his fields for new hay….so it just might go to seed…..so…..he has 50 left from 2008…..if it’s good…..I’ll take all 50.

Of course Honey always asks me that same question….”what are you going to do with all that?”………and I always reply….”I’ll figure out something.”

My little barn only holds 20 with some grain stored too.  Right now I can put the bales in the milk room and then put down pallets and cover the hay with tarps.  It works for me.  Just so long as it stays dry.  So maybe I’ll line the stacks with straw on the outside….just for extra protection.  OR maybe I’ll build a lean-to on the back of the barn…..mmmm…..and a chicken coop…..and …and…and!

(by the way, isn’t that a gorgeous picture that was taken in VA….looks to me like the Shenandoah Valley.  Thank you Wonder Sighter!)

I love the red barn…..hey look a lean-to….probably for hay storage!!!  I’m sure I can do that!

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