The first hay crop of the year always makes it smell (and feel) like summer. There’s something about that sweet, fresh scent of cut green leaves and stems that signals the season.
Even though I posted about the possibility of hay in mid-May, it was May 30th when we cut the first of the alfalfa hay and June 1st when we chopped it.
If you don’t know, alfalfa is a legume widely grown for hay with tough stems and small, bright-green leaves. It’s high in protein and other nutrients dairy cows need, and it’s an important part of the ration, or feed, our cows eat.
After the hay is cut (with a machine that looks a lot like a giant lawn mower) it needs to dry for a day or so. Then it gets merged together into fewer rows so the chopper can take it up, chop it into finer pieces, and dump it into semi trailers.
I’ll share a few pictures of the process to make it less confusing…
The first two pictures are of JR (my hubby) getting the chopper ready. The last photo shows the chopper and semi working their way through the field.
And here’s the big tractor pushing the hay into a pile. As it pushes it also continually drives over the hay to pack it tightly down.
Once the pile is finished it gets covered with a giant sheet of plastic and held down with hundreds of halved semi tires. As I sit here tonight typing I realize I didn’t take a picture of the finished pile. It’s too dark now, so here’s a picture of the partially uncovered pile last summer. You’ll have to imagine the rest. 🙂
It’s always a good feeling to get hay done without rain, wind, or other obstacles. Having enough good feed for our cows is hugely important, and this year we can say “so far, so good.” 🙂
I’m finally back at it.
Remember last time I talked running I said I’d be back on schedule by (last) Monday?
Bright and early Monday I hit the roads and finished 10K before I had to wrap things up. I would have went longer if I’d gotten up earlier, but sometimes it goes that way.
Wednesday I did 3 easy miles and then Thursday I made it to 6 am boot camp class for the first time in months. Friday I planned to rest, which worked out well because we chopped hay all day until the wee hours of Saturday morning.
I finished up the week with several miles of fartlek (speed play) work on Sunday morning. It certainly wasn’t a lot of miles, but it was definitely enough to wake up my legs and get my mind thinking about summer races.
Today I did a few easy miles, and I plan on a date with the track early tomorrow. I suppose that means I should get to bed before 11:00? Sigh. Why do I let it get this late…?
Goodnight all. And happy dairy month. If you haven’t read my June dairy month post be sure to check it out here!