Monday, July 20, 2009
Wet weather eventually clears up. So then what? Caught off guard and with no sunglasses, I found myself frantically grasping for projects I've been saving for the sun, but couldn't help but wonder what other summer bounty might be passing me by. From the road I could see that the local haymakers were hard at work rambling through their fields. I got a phone call from my friend. Like us, he's got a few sheep and no hay in the barn or money to speak of. A hay shortage, with varying degrees of expensive, poor quality hay will cause desperation. He suggests that we seek to make hay by hand. A novel idea. For us little guys have got big arms so it's doable, ha ha. But, in a perfect world we would partner up, buy the essenstial, modest equipment; tractor(s) mower, tedder, rake, baler, wagon, and make a good hay business because it is possible and we like it. Unfortunately the initial startup cost is at least $10,000 (angel investors inquire here). Meanwhile, he says he cut a swath of grass with his weed wacker, hand flipped it with a fork to dry, and raked into bundles which he then just stuffed into his volvo. I'm intrigued. At my friend's house we picked ripe rasberries for jam and talked about our haying potential. He would cut the hay, we'd both dry it, roll it, and load it with forks. Then I would transport it home in our truck. But the question is, how do we get it safely into a loft? Whew! I just don't know if it's worth the trouble. The old school fellas would've used a dump rake, wagon, block and tackle. We haven't got any of that either, but the feeling that we should be reasonably able to make enough hay by hand to feed ourselves persists. As one farmer we worked for used to say, "there is a solution, we just have to find it." So we're going to get on the field with no equipment and make some hay. This could be the wave of the future.