"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summertime and We're all about Haying

Our neighbor's square bales stacked to haul. Often, when I sit down to write about something, a random song will pop into my head (as in The Windmills of my Mind from the other day). This story is about summer haying on a small scale Oklahoma farm and the song that 'popped in' as accompaniment was "One Man Shall Mow My Meadow", which is probablyjust the first line and not the title.
"One man shall mow my meadow, two men shall gather it together; one man, two men, and one more shall sheer my lambs and ewes and rams and gather my gold together."
It is an accumulative song, probably written for children who were learning their numbers. Fifth verse begins: "Five men shall mow my meadow, six men shall gather it together; six men, five men, four men, three men, two men, one man and one more shall...." you get the idea. Click the 'song' word link and then on the 'listen' link on that page to hear a snippet of it. It has a delightfully lilting and singable melody that will stay with you; one you can easily hum to yourself as you are about your day. Back to the story. Haying seems to be taking up a goodly part of our summer this year, for the simple reason that we are small scale farmers and do not have the modern machinery that is required for rapid and time efficient haying. Our machinery is old and needs lots of repairs, not big stuff, but things that are time consuming and essential. Last week Danny mowed the south meadow, which is planted to Plains Blue stem and produces lots of wonderful hay as well as good forage for the cows. At the same time Danny and his brother were working on that field, the man who puts up our alfalfa hay on the shares was working on the west fields with his big machines and had it all cut, turned and baled while we were still mowing, fixing the tractor and replacing broken sickle sections on the mower in the south meadow. Oh well, that is what happens when you substitute time for capital: you save money but you lose time. We happen to have more time than money at this point so it seemed like the right thing to do. (In all honesty, there should be a frustration variable worked into that time/money formula because it does come into play... BIG TIME). Danny beside our Hesston round baler Thought you might like to see some pics of the process....I refrained from taking pics of the frustration making itself felt and heard. "We hay for fun in the hot, hot sun :{ "...not so much.

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