Friday, 26 June 2015

Friday

The farmer has gone off for the afternoon to finish his 'muck-spreading' activities; there is a gentle rain falling at the moment which will help it to soak into the ground and then, with any luck, the fields will 'green up' again and second crop silage will begin to grow.

Last year was a good year for indoor feeding of cattle so many farmers have silage left from then.   Some years, when the weather is really bad, most of them run out and everyone is scouring all the farms for bits to buy here and there.   This year some farmers won't even make second crop but let their cattle eat the grass off.
  
All a far cry from the old days when there was only one crop a year and that was hay - and that depended so much on the weather - the right amount of rain to make the grass grow, the right amount of sun to ripen the grass, and then fine weather (of the right kind - no heavy night time dews) to dry the laying grass and make it right for hay. Then the chore of piling it into the hay carts and pulling it back to the farm (I remember riding on top of hay when I was a child) and making a good, strong stack.

Like our grand mothers would not believe the ease of washingday these days so our farmer grandfathers would not credit modern facilities.  Here is a very poor photograph of the farmer and his father 'haymaking' around 1945 - sorry it's not a better photograph.

14 comments:

Mac n' Janet said...

Love the photo. I can remember my Mom using a wringer washing machine when I was a kid.

Joanne Noragon said...

I remember looking on while my uncle and the farm hands and my parents pitching in forked hay up to the wagon. My mother used a wringer washing machine until after I was married and had an automatic washer. She was over the need to use that washing machine until it quit in about a heartbeat and the next thing I knew, her washer and dryer stood in their place in the basement.

donna baker said...

They don't make them like that anymore. Such backbreaking work back then. How they got the weather to cooperate to feed a family for the year was a miracle - truly feast or famine. Around here, they've yet to make the first hay as it has been too wet to get machines in the field. And, I've wondered what silage is? I've never heard of it before.

Countryside Tales said...

That's a lovely old picture. The demise in hay making and the preference for silage has been bad news for birds and insects- something like 95% of old hay meadows lost in the last 50 years. I wondered what your thoughts were on this from the farming side of the equation? The biggest problem conservation has is trying to find a way forward that suits everyone.

Heather said...

Those were the days - unless you were one of the ones doing all the hard work! What a bonny little lad sitting on the hay cart.

jinxxxygirl said...

Oh my goodness what a precious and treasured photo i'm sure... Hugs! deb

Rachel said...

I remember a similar picture of my brother. If I ever get it back I will put it on my blog. P has been hay cutting all day. Lovely dry, hot day in the east of England.

angryparsnip said...

awwww what a lovely photo.
I am so happy it was kept so we could see this tiny treasure.

cheers, parsnip

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

My husband lived in a house without indoor plumbing till he was six. All in the not-so-long-ago.

Frances said...

I am continuing to enjoy your reporting of all that's involved with silage production and distribution and farming cycles.

What a wonderful vintage photo (taken the year of my birth...so I'm vintage, too.)

Best wishes for the weekend...hoping that you and the Farmer will have some relaxed hours.

Cro Magnon said...

I used to love haymaking time. In the days of small rectangular bales (not so long ago) on hearing the baler, we'd all grab our pitchforks and get the hay inside before supper time. The following day it was at another neighbour's. It was part of life; never expected but always appreciated. I miss that camaraderie.

Gwil W said...

The 'gentle rain' has arrived in Vienna. They said it would be sunny!

The Weaver of Grass said...

This 'tiny treasure' as parsnip calls him, is - as i write - whizzing up and down the lawns on his sit-on mower. The farmer never has a day other than Sunday when he does nothing. Thanks for calling by.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I love that old photograph! When I was little, hay was cut at least twice during the summer, sometimes farmers would get a third cutting. It was done in the smaller rectangular bales, easy to lift and stack. Now it's almost all giant round bales. Is that the same for you? -Jenn