Skip to main content

Banner for Kitchen Table Kibitzing

 Make hay while the sun shines

We're getting a little too much sun and very little rain lately and it reminded me of our own hay making. Hay growing around here depends on steady winter rains ending prior to cutting and bailing in late spring. Farmers this year are in trouble because the seeds didn't sprout and pastures are brown so hay must be purchased from Washington and Oregon.

We decided early on that since we were raising cattle we would grow our own hay. We knew nothing about it but took classes at the local J C and purchased used equipment, though we did have a good Kubota tractor. We grew the hay, oat hay with 20% vetch added, in our flat 10 acre pasture.

Initially we rotovated the entire pasture.

Then we seeded it, adding commercial fertilizer to the seed mix.
Note the harrow following the seeder, which covers the seeds and smooths the soil.

With good timing the rains came and the seeds sprouted.

In the spring we cut the entire pasture, using a sickle bar attachment powered by the pto (power takeoff) at the rear of the tractor.

We raked up the cut hay with this rake, towed behind the tractor. As you can see it's still out in the field. Seeing that yesterday actually inspired this diary.
The rake spins the hay into an interconnected hay row such that the bailer can pick it up.

No photo of the bailer, but it was towed behind the tractor and it was powered by a 4 cylinder gas motor which had to be started with a big twist wheel (by hand) and was remarkably loud in operation.

The bales dried in the field until we picked them up and put them in the barn. We accepted any help we could get in this phase of the operation. Especially important because I was working full time and on the night shift, to boot.

This is my son, age 10. Now he's 42.
              Even our border collies helped.

Our hay turned out very well. In fact, we entered a bale in the Sonoma County Harvest Fair (Yes, they had a category for that) and won the blue ribbon. Best of all, our cows liked it very much,

So hay, what do you say?


Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate.

Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site