October 6, 2008

Haystacks

This year, we were blessed that our neighbor cut and baled our hayfield for us. Although they are big round bales (I prefer the small square bales because we have no large equipment to move the bigger bales) I am still thankful that we have hay, in whatever form.

In past years, we have cut our field by hand, literally. Dh uses a DR brush mower to mow the grass, a bit at a time, and I use a fan rake to gather it after it has dried in the sun. I fork it up into the wagon behind my bladeless riding mower, and pull it up the hill. There we either bale it by hand, or store it loose.

Today I discovered Gene Logsdon. (Actually, I've read some of his essays, such as The Man Who Made Paradise, but I hadn't discovered this collection until today.) I read his article Cheapskate Haystacks For Contrary Garden Farmers and am intrigued by his method of making haystacks in the field. I've often raked our hay into a stack and protected it from the weather with a tarp, but not on the scale that he does. This sounds like a great solution for those who do not have a building in which to store loose hay, which takes up a great deal more room than baled hay.

The photo on Gene's page reminds me of our years in Wyoming, when we'd drive to Jackson Hole and see haystacks decorated like houses, even to TV antennas and flags stuck in the middle. Here are a few images you can look up:
Haystacks in Jackson Hole
Hay in Art (you'll have to scroll way down to the bottom for the photo of the haystack with walls and shuttered windows)

Gene's website has many articles worth reading, if you are interested in farming without big equipment. I got lost there for a few hours, and will leave a trail of breadcrumbs next time so I can find my way back home again.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed those pictures of haystacks. Haystacks make me think of Mary and Laura in the Little House books, sliding down the haystacks!

    ReplyDelete

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