Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Making hay with Mr. Harms

Yesterday evening we finished making our first batch of hay!  But we could not have done it without the help of our next door neighbor and landlord's father, Herman Harms.  He has generously given us the use of his barn, his tractor and the 5 acres of pasture around his farmhouse free of charge.  Even more importantly he has been a constant source of help and advice since we first arrived here in July.  He has farmed this land ever since he returned home from serving in World War II, so it's safe to say he knows a thing or two about farming.
We decided last week to make hay out of the approximately 1 acre pasture behind Mr. Harms' barn because the weather forecast looked good and the grass was nice and tall.  On Friday we cut the grass using the side mounted sickle bar mower on our Allis Chalmers C tractor.  At first the bar kept getting clogged up but Mr. Harms helped us figure out how to adjust the height of the sickle bar so that it would cut smoothly.  On Saturday afternoon we used Mr. Harms' side delivery rake to rake the hay into windrows (linear piles), flipping the hay over so that it would dry evenly.  Then we flipped the windrows over on Sunday speed up the curing process.  On Monday afternoon, as suggested by Mr. Harms, we consolidated the windrows into several large piles in order to make collecting the hay a lot quicker and easier.  In spite of our protests Mr. Harms insisted on picking up a hay fork and helping us with this.  Then that same evening we began collecting the hay.  Mr. Harms pulled a flatbed trailer around the field with his tractor while Emma and I forked the hay.  We got half of it done on Monday and finished the second half on Tuesday.  We ended up with so much hay that it takes up almost half of the first floor of Mr. Harms barn, piled almost to the ceiling.

Emma making windrows

Mr Harms and Emma raking hay

Emma and Mr Harms harvesting hay

1 comment:

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