All Hail. All Hay Under Cover.

236 bales of good hay. Beautiful hay actually. Green and dry and smells divine. Airfreshner for the barn. 

The weather yesterday was cool with a stiff drying breeze. No humidity. Good for the hay and the team gathered to make the hay. 

I pay the hay man and his sons by the hour so we work fast.  The fastest period is unloading one hay rack of new hay into the barn then racing the empty wagon back out to the field for the changeover as he finishes loading the second hay rack.  

With the last wagon full I climb up and throw the top twenty or so bales off the top so it is a shorter stack on the wagon then rev up the tractor and  pull the whole thing straight into the white barn and leave it there – to unload at a more civilised pace. I still have to milk the cow then make dinner (thanks gods for Chg Johns hay-making-day-ravioli)  so by late afternoon I am very pushed for time.

This is on the West side.

Above is a View from the top of the hay.  I am always on the top to throw down the bales. I can free free solo straight up the side like a spider. No ropes – all hands and feet, straight up the pile.  The closest I can get to rock climbing out here on the planes.

There is an odd collection of exposures in this page.  I seldom check shots as I shoot during the day. I collect images as though there is film in the camera carefully framed then click then move on though I do have the knowledge that it is digital and I can check and delete as I go.  I never do. Checking to see if I got the shot is not automatic muscle movement  when I am working fast.  I always get surprises when I go into my virtual dark room each evening. Pity I am not as careful with the exposures.

Alissa and John (who  left work on time to get down to help us thank goodness)  loaded the last of the bales into the barn while I milked the cow and that was the last work of her season here. She is off to one of the Carolinas next. Leaving this morning.

She was a great worker – strong and kind and I will miss her enormously.

Lady Astor  seems to have done damage to her udder when she was in heat and riding all the other cows day before yesterday.   She was throwing herself and her big udder about before I saw what was happening and locked her up – most unladylike, the udder has changed shape, dropped actually, and the milk is not right. I suspect the lining of her udder has broken capilliaries. I will milk her more often for a few days until it goes pure white again. But along with the  trauma it looks like there is ligament damage, her udder has gone long like Daisy’s was, lucky this is her last milking season.  She has to be very careful now not to hurt her droopy boobs further.

Today Samantha and I are working on the newsletter. Join if you would like to see the other side of The Kitchen’s Garden at work.  (The join button is right below the comments section – look for the word LETTER)  I am loving the Amazon and Zazzle shops featured in the newsletter. It gives me a real focus as the season winds down.  Don’t look at the shops until this afternoon though,  today I am loading all the new stuff.

Our new cartoon is great! You will see later today when the newsletter comes out.

Now to the final new project this year! You will remember that I have finished the woofer program. I am making the gardens prettier and more park like.  The farming goes on. But I am creating a new emphasis and making the farm more visitor friendly.

 I have opened the Coop as an Airbnb short term rental.

It is called the Kitchen’s Garden Retreat.

Here it is.  To tell the truth I am still tidying and dressing it for guests so the pictures will change as I get it all ready to go.  But I thought you might like a preview of what is in store.  And any suggestions are welcome.

I rent airbnb, as I travel in the winters, and love the concept.  There is very little accomodation out this way so I am hoping that if people have weddings or events in the area and need extra space they will find me.

OK – time for me to get to work!

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi

WEATHER – Beautiful

Wednesday 09/06 20% / 0 inClouds and some sun this morning with more clouds for this afternoon. Slight chance of a rain shower. High near 65F. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

Wednesday Night 09/0610% / 0 inPartly cloudy skies. Low 46F. Winds light and variable.

6:24 am 7:16 pm

Full, 100% visible7:46 pm 6:37 am



44 Comments on “All Hail. All Hay Under Cover.

  1. Hurray for hay! You’ve obviously worked like a demon today, and if there isn’t a big glass of wine (or several) with your dinner tonight I shall think you’re bonkers. Lovely, lovely page on air bnb for the Coop.

  2. I love the smell of a barn full of fresh hay. It makes me smile just thinking about it. Your Air BnB looks just lovely…that desk looks like the perfect place to read or write! You should plant Marigolds or nasturtium in your garden…they both help keep away different kinds of pests and add lovely color, plus nasturtium flowers are edible. You could also plant zinnias (I love planting Benary’s giant zinnias from Seed Savers Exchange along one edge of my veggie garden). These are beautiful and great at bringing in pollinators, but they do take up more room than the other two.

    • I have piles of nasturtiums and borage in the garden – I love nasturtiuns and their fresh peppery taste.. we do get some bees but not too many. Zinnias are in the wild gardens – i must look up these large ones they sound lovely

  3. What a day you had! I hope the Coop starts renting and filling with all sorts of interesting people…maybe some stories for the blog!

      • Taking a holiday “a long way from anything”? I should think that’s exactly the point; ) Sounds and LOOKS great – especially the fresh bread on arrival: )
        Wishing you loads of luck and as many guests as you can comfortably handle!

  4. So glad about the hay! Will look at the pics later. So sorry about Lady Astor’s udder.

  5. Love the idea of the Coop being an airbnb! No doubt you will have visitors! xo

  6. Gotta spread the word! And the photos are magnificent. I am sure you will miss Alissa and I hope she is safe as the Carolinas will get some hurricane effect. I hope she is writing about her travels. Does she Woof all year round? That poor Lady Astor and yes she is in danger of losing her Lady status. Good thing you were there.

  7. so great to see American farm buildings. The buildings here are so different.

  8. J > Here in the UK (and may other countries, I should think), we’re puzzled as to how it is AirBnB promote their service as if it is something novel and of their own invention. No, it’s not! It’s just self-catering accommodation. The ‘concept’ has been common here for at least 50 years, probably since the late 1940s. What is new is the way AirBnB has managed to persuade hosts that guests are not to be trusted unless managed by AirBnB, and at the same time guests that hosts are also not to be trusted. And don’t they take a great fee from both for doing very very little other than running a website! There are other companies that have been providing agency services for many years, not so greedy. But, whatever … we wish you every success with it. But we’d suggest the following: If you really are willing to accept stays of just 1 night (and there’s a world-wide trend to folk making road tours stopping briefly at self-catering instead of motels, hotels or b+bs), then you’ll be doing a lot of cleaning. D and I think you’re rental fee is too cheap anway, but above all your cleaning fee is just way too low. You’ll be working for nothing, and it’s not as if anyone will thank you for that. However, there’s no harm in getting punters in, and then learning from what they say (and above all what they do!), and then fine-tuning your offering. BTW, don’t you look glamorous on the AirBnB profile photo!

    • Yes this is what I am doing – testing the waters. We are not exactly a destination. Though the land is beautiful I am sure most of the people who stay one or two nights will be on their way to somewhere else. I don’t know if anyone will come at all. And – sorry – I had to laugh at the unpaid thing. I have been making beds and cooking for people and cleaning up after people and doing washing for people since I could pull a sheet over a bed and boil a pot of water – for hours every day. My mother went to bed and never got up again when I was 14 and was sick for a long time before that so this is just about all my life – unpaid. Working for nothing and yes – generally not thanked either. Many mothers and wives work for nothing – most people assume we will and thanking us does not even occur to them. I would be quite happy with 70 dollars for one night doing what I do every day anyway. I barely cover my bills on the farm and often don’t. I am just casting about for ways to make a few quid and feed some of the big mouths around here. And hoping something sticks. Something has to stick.

      • Whilst you were sleeping methinks . . . . Some 8000 people are not following you for nought, Celi ! There has to be a fascination, an understanding of your lifestyle . . . a desire to see for oneself . . . . If each and every one of us just ‘told’ five people to look you up and have a weekend when in Chicago, or better, a week living a life we might not otherwise . . . . life just might be a little easier . . . . . I sincerely DO hope the ‘coop’ will bring you many people just wanting to segue out of their usual lifestyle and experience something a little different . . . I truly hope for success . . . .

        • Well said, Eha! Couldn’t agree more: )
          And Celi, just because you’ve done these things unbidden and thanklessly, doesn’t make it right ): You deserve the kudos you receive from all of us here, and THEN some. So good on you and thank you for all you do, you incredible gem of a woman!: )

  9. Bravo! The hay is in. I’m sure it’s a relief to have it safely in the barn. It looks like lovely hay. I used to put French dwarf marigold petals in salads and to sprinkle on top of veggie dishes, as well as nasturtiums (the French dwarf marigolds are nice in front of veggie beds and help with repelling pests and the colors go from pale yellow, through orange to bronze). I hope you have great success with renting the Coop. It would be grand to have a peaceful place for a few days.

  10. A girl should not throw her udders about!! Didn’t her mother teach her anything? Appalling. Would love to see you climbing hay bales spiderman style. And the retreat looks LOVELY! x

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