Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Chariots of gold said Timothy!
Silvery wings said Elaine!
A bumpety ride on a wagon of hay
for me said Jane!
Yes, it's that time of year again. It seems from comments on my blog that many people don't know the difference between silaging and haymaking. First crop silage has been done mainly now here in the UK. It entails cutting the grass and either foraging it ( blowing it into trailers and tipping it into a clamp) or baling it up and wrapping in plastic for winter.
But haymaking - now that is a different thing altogether. To start with, the weather has to be just right. Yesterday was what we call up here "muggy" - in other words hot, damp and sultry. Too "soft" for hay making as the farmer would say. But this morning it is cooler, sunny intervals and cloudy periods, a slight breeze and above all very dry, with no rain forecast. So the hay fields have been cut. There is always a risk involved and if the weather changes then the hay will be made into silage but if the weather remains crisp and dry then so will the hay and then it will be bailed up and put in the hay barn and the smell will be divine.
Another question which keeps coming up is why our lambs still have their tails. This is because they are upland sheep and have to endure adverse conditions in the cold weather, where a nice long fluffy tail can make all the difference between a cold bottom and a warm one.
The farmer has cut the verges of the lane as he has driven to the hay fields. Some people get quite cross about this and say he should leave them long for the wildlife, but he doesn't cut right to the hedge and at least it means we can get out of our gate onto the lane and see both ways, so we are not taking our life in our hands if there is anything coming.
There really is never a dull moment here at this time of the year. My sweet peas needed tying up and watering (the flower heads were dropping off, a sure sign that they were short of water) and the chard needed a water too as it is only about an inch high and growing fast. Our peas and broad beans are well in flower and we shall have our first beetroot later this week. We had strawberries for lunch today - not the even-sized 'perfect' fruits of the supermnarket basket (what do these farns who supply the supermarkets do with their less than perfect fruit?) - but after yesterdays sun, golly were they sweet.