Dad raked the hay late Wednesday morning while I was working. He began by raking every other row then turning the rig around and raking the ones he missed into the already raked one. Two, two, two windrows in one. (Let me know in comments if anybody got that reference…)
Then, late in the afternoon, after your tireless but tired author got off work, it was time to bale the hay. Until then I had never run the baler. I am the stacker. But there was no limit to my sneezing that day so dad took over at the halfway point and my kids filmed and narrated.
My 8 year old has lots to tell you. I think it’s hilarious. He made 40 minutes of video and never stopped talking.
I hope I’m as young as my dad is when I’m his age. Anyway, it went OK. There is a lot to keep track of driving the tractor. Stuff I had never thought of before. You have to drive close to the windrow turning left and far when turning right…but not too close or too far.
Running the baler was important to me. As we read Jim Minick’s The Blueberry Years, we took note of several times he pointed out having helped with a job but never been in charge of a job. As a consequence, he didn’t really know how to do the job. I need to know how to do the job (whatever the job is) from start to finish. It was important that I run the baler this time.
Our alfalfa field looks denuded in the video but in the week since we baled it has rained and the field has greened up considerably. Hurricane Isaac should bring us rain this weekend too.
The alfalfa hay took us about an hour to bale. Then I worked on the garden with some of the kids while dad and other children greased and cleaned the baler to prepare it for winter storage. The hay conditioner, rake and baler have all been cleaned up and put away. Another season down. Over the weekend we unloaded the wagons and stacked the bales neatly in the barn. There is still more work to do but at least that job is behind us.