Hay is Down

The alfalfa hay is down and another acre of grass hay to boot.  With showers forecast for today but lots of lovely sun after that so we will see. Hay is so important to the welfare of the farm. My cows are not fed grain, so good hay for the winter is imperative. And this hay was getting way past its due by date so it had to be cut. Aunty Del - Ayrshire heifer

The new crew and I planted up the new vegetable gardens and weeded all morning (as well as the normal chores) and the vegetable garden has never looked better.  

Lady Astor and Bobby T

Lady Astor8

Today we will plant out all the cucumbers and watermelons and another line of zuchinni and egg plant.  Then we will sow the pumpkins and put all the struck Japanese sweet potatoes  (the closest to New Zealand Kumara I have found in America) into the ground. Then everything will be fed with the seaweed fertiliser.

I have doubled the numbers of visitors this year and so have doubled the size of the vegetable gardens. My crews need to eat. Txiki - Alex's calf

Of course and as usual, I am talking about the vegetable gardens and have taken shots of cows in the long grass (the best place to hide from flies is out in the long green grass).

I hope you have a lovely day.

celiAlex and Txiki - Dexter



44 Comments on “Hay is Down

  1. Do post pics of your veggie garden. How big is it? I think I need one of your workers to help me weed. I am becoming overrun by them!

  2. Splendid grass and splendid, healthy, beautiful cows and calves. I love the faces peeking through the long blades of grass.

  3. Oh how I wish we received enough rain for more than one cutting of hay in a season! But with only 30 inches of moisture a year, summer rain is pretty scarce. Nature’s faucet shuts off here in June and only those with the ability to irrigate will be able to have second cuttings.

    • It is the same in NZ with the grass hay, they just close off a few paddocks and bale it once. Though our animals in NZ are out in the fields all year – here we freeze solid – and need more so we are lucky with all the rain.. c

  4. Lady Astor looks a bit like a water buffalo in that 3rd last shot…..minus the horns.

      • You might regret that!

        Hope your hay dries. They took a second cut this morning from the field across from our house but the weather is still grey and chilly. Atthe French tennis open, even the men are wearing leggings, and Serena Williams didn’t take off her fleece for the whole tournament!
        ViV xox

        • he is a bobby so he will not be around long enough for the horns to get too big.. there were some longhorn cows I saw lately – I envy their horns. beautiful animals

  5. I would love to be laying in your long, cool grass right now Miss C, among the herd 😉

  6. and you have a lovely day also! Still have my fingers crossed that there is not rain til the alfalfa is in the barn!

  7. What lovely serene images. I often think of laying in tall grasses just looking up at the sky. But then I think of snakes (which we have so many of here) and I decide that might not be a very wise idea!! 😀

    • Oh My NO. That would be a bad idea – I have only ever seen three snakes here and have been here over 10 years now. And snakes were under things – so I don’t even think about snakes. Snakes like you have would make me nervous – c

  8. I so feel for the cows with the flies. I had a dog that would run and hide if she heard a fly buzzing in the house. She had less fear of the tarantula spiders.:) Now I have to ask about the seaweed fertilizer??? I was looking online to see the many varieties which left more questions. I have put in my first ever vegetable garden and am learning from everyone online. I’ve just deep watered as we are have 103 here today. Hope you get the hay dry enough soon to get it in. I’ll send you some of this warm dry as I’ve had quite enough, thank you very much. Would love to see more of your garden photos and always love the furry family photos. 🙂 Have a wonderfilled day.

  9. Hope the rain bypasses your newly mown hay. My father used to have a machine he pulled behind the tractor to lift it into rows so it could dry. Anything to keep it from getting moldy as, like you, we needed every flake for the hungry critters. How many cuttings will you harvest? We could usually count on 3 and once in a great while a sparse 4th. The scent is wonderful , isn’t it?

    Please take some pics of your various gardens. (and tell the cats to come along, too) Perhaps it will inspire more of us to
    make more effort in that regard. Keeping up with the grass and flower beds here is a challenge itself. Probably I should incorporate things that are edible like chard, etc. Of course, having your farm crew must be a great asset.
    Do you have a post where you have explained how that works? Was it something you have always done? What a great way to meet people, incorporate them into your farm life and for them to have a unique experience.

    • My workers find me through the WWOOFER programme – they are online. This is my third year with young people moving through summer. The mower we use actually cuts and lifts the hay into rows, then after a few days I rake it (dragging the rake behind my tractor) which turns it IN those rows. I usually only need to rake once but this lot might need to be turned twice – we will see – I hate to turn it twice. But it is sodden now! c

  10. Does the Kumara not grow here? Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things to grow and I’d love to try new varieties.

      • That’s too bad! I forget customs often frowns upon food. If I source any I’ll send you some.

            • Yes. The kumara is the original tuber grown by the Maori in NZ long before the white man came. It is Polynesian in origin. That is the one I like. The American ones taste nothing like it really. I will try this seed though – it might be close! thank you.. c

              • Beauregard is a common variety that I don’t like at all. I find my best harvests by buying organic ones from the store, forgetting them in the pantry, and planting out in the spring. I got some beautiful Japanese purple ones last season. But with approximately a thousand varieties throughout the globe, who knows what kind they technically are!

  11. I love to see the pictures of your cows. And I’d like to second the call for pictures of your vegetable gardens!

  12. Thanks for sharing more about the ‘helper’ program and your hay methods. I think it would be great to have photos of the haying process as many people have never seen all the varied steps that are required. In addition to all the machinery needed. It is also great to know where and how our food gets to us. Though I use to local Farmer’s Market and grocery and don’t grow my own at this point, I try to remember to be grateful for all the people that have made my meals possible. Farmers, harvesters, packers, shippers, etc…..that help get it to our table. Even if it isn’t all as ‘clean’ and organic as would be preferred, I am still so grateful for all the people that make it possible. And for you…for making us feel a part of it all.

    • You are welcome Joan, I have done quite a few posts on the haymaking in summers past – and totally forgot that there are many new readers who may not have seen the machines.. I will do my best to document it but as you know I am working too and sometimes don’t get time to run to the house and get the camera out when i am meant to be throwing bales.. but I will try for you.. c..

  13. Aunty does look like she’s getting a little udder going on — are her girl parts getting puffy/loose at all? Any clear goo? (mine start that as early as 4 months preggers) We leave horns on all our bovines — milkers as well as the Herefords — good protection against wolves and bears and so far they have been gentle with me and each other although they do know they have them — makes for good back scratchers 🙂

      • When is her due date again? I have a Hereford heifer due either June 25 or July 7 — has a good size udder developing – but she is half Jersey. Maybe you’re just not seeing the discharge — can disappear pretty fast. Some of my herd are within sight of the highway and I often wonder what my neighbors and tourists think I’m doing peering under my cow(s) tails all the time!

  14. One of life’s beautiful scenes is seeing cows in grass. Loved these photos. Fingers crossed for your hay. xx

  15. Unless I deserve a ‘fail’ mark for my mathematics: that seems like one harvest before and two now – must make you feel more comfortable as far as future hay supplies are concerned since this is only the beginning of June . . . *smile* just love my alfalfa sprouts most breakfasts . . . . methinks the cows would smack their lips also . .

  16. Our donkeys spent most of today trying to escape the flies. They can’t spend time in long grass … not good for them … being desert critters. They like a dark spot to hide – usually in their barns in front of a large fan!

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