The Recipe for Hay


This week’s Heads or Tails topic is:  Recipe

When I saw this posted last week, I figured I was going to share a boring (but delicious) recipe for Napa Cabbage.  But that will have to wait for another day.  Today I decided to share the recipe (at least in part) for Hay.  I know there have to be people out there who are dying to know how to make hay, but who just haven’t found the recipe.  Let me help you out. 

Here’s what you need:

One Misty Morning.  If you swing around to look behind you, it might look like this:

Throw in one tractor – with mower contraption attached

For good measure and a little excitement, try fighting one of these. . . INSIDE the tractor cab.  I mean right by my face.

If anyone knows their spiders, maybe you can help out with identification.  Here’s a better picture (BTW – I stopped the tractor to take these marvelous shots, in case you’re wondering)  I didn’t crop the picture this way – the spider was crawling out of my range, and I got it just in time.  Right before I took the dust pan to fling that thing out of the window.

Okay – back to the recipe.  Sorry for that little diversion.



After you have a field, a morning, and a tractor, oh, and a reluctant (or not) farm chik, add time. A lot of time.  Like 8 hours, maybe.  With some crazy people who just happened to show up for work today to build the barn.  Or no, maybe just to watch the crazy chik in the tractor.  How many times will she get hung up on a fence line?  And how will she maneuver out of the fence line?  And I wonder what she’ll do if we walk across the field toward her to ask for 2-cycle gas because we didn’t bring enough.

Okay – those are the ingredients for this step.  Now comes the procedure.  Brace yourselves.  I know – you can hardly stand it.  Me either.

Go through the motion of getting everything started.  Luckily the key in the ignition with a turn brought about some rumbling.  That might be a good sign.  Let the motor warm up. 

Don’t move any of the mower adjustments – they’re exactly where they should be (as per Prince Farming). 

Start the mower motor (PTO) by lifting up the yellow knob and turning it.  No, turn it the other way.  Okay. 

Speed up the tractor motor (also the PTO then, since it’s engaged) to 2,000 thingys (whatever that term is).  You know that’s happened, because the needle hovers over the 20.   Good grief. 

Then put the one gear lever into "B" range and shift the other one into 2nd.  Or 3rd.  Whichever you can handle.  (WHAT can I handle?) 

Take your foot off the clutch.  Then hang on.  For dear life.  And be careful around the corners. 

And watch the mower.  Don’t run over anything (I’m assuming other than hay).

And if you hear any funny sounds, turn it off.  Or slow down. 

And if the belt seems too loose, then tighten it one turn (Okay – there’s a whole ‘nother blog entry called "if the belt seems too loose")  HOW will I know if the belt is too loose?  Will it jump off? 

And, by the way,  the thing always makes a funny noise.  If I turned it off every time there was a funny noise, I’d spend the day turning it on, and then turning it off. 

And watch the mower. 

If one were to watch the mower, how would one know where to steer?  And what exactly would one be watching for, if one were to keep one’s eyes glued to the mower.  Theres a thingy that spins around and around at an alarming rate.  And there’s something rubbing on something else that makes an alarming sound.  But one can’t be exactly sure about what one is watching.  Back there.  One should rather keep one’s eyes facing in the forward direction with a possible, but only occasional, backward glance through the rear-facing window.  (Don’t tell Prince Farming.)

Here’s the bottom line:

I mowed for 8 hours.  All that I missed were 2 huge fields, one tiny field, and a part of a field around a pond/swamp, which I studiously avoided so I wouldn’t get stuck in the mud (did that once before – last year – had to wait to be pulled out of the mud by Prince Farming’s dad. . . who happens to be one of my all time favorite people in the entire world – and not just because he pulled me out of the mud.  Without negative comments.  And only a few snide remarks.)

So today will be the rest of the fields.  Actually I think I’ll tackle the two big fields.  That’s it.  And not even the one whole big field, because that field is on a precipice.  And tractors, me, and precipices don’t mix so very well.  Not friendly at all.  Nope.  I’ll just do the flatish parts.

After mowing the hay, it has to be fluffed (not by me – I’m not allowed to touch the fluffer – aww shucks!).  Then it has to be raked (which to me, takes more skill than fluffing, but I’m allowed required to do that).  And then baling.  Not by me.  Then hauling.  By me.  Maybe I’ll post some of those pictures on Friday.  Ooi, this week is not going how I planned it to go.  Which is just how farming is.  You farm when the farming needs to be done.  Just plan on it.

This is the 2nd cutting of hay.  The first was much better qualify.  Tall grass, lush clover.  The 2nd cutting has more weeds.  But it’s also more pretty.  Here are a couple of things I shot through the window before I plowed over and mowed them flat.

You can play Heads or Tails every week too by visiting here.

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13 Responses to “The Recipe for Hay”

  1. Skittles Says:

    If I ever get a farm I’m sure this will come in handy. :)

    I love your sense of humor!

  2. Maggie Says:

    Hey Deirdre,

    Hubby Stephen pointed me to your site! Great job and lots of entertaining reading! I do good to get our blog out once a week, never mind daily! Keep it up.

  3. Misty Dawn Says:

    Oh my gosh…… you and I would get along WAY too well! We could tell farming-wife-disaster stories… make fun of our farming husbands… and laugh about being rednecks… errrrr, I mean ummmm… well, you know what I mean ;-) I seriously need to get to know you better!

    I became a ‘farm chic’ about eight years ago… first we were a dairy farm (they were that for years before me)… then we had a sheep farm… and now beef. And, all the while (of course) crop farming.

    One of my best friends Barb (Skittles) sent me over here to read this post… Now – I’ll be regularly reading, because I can ‘oh so’ relate!

  4. Louise Says:

    The flower is pretty. It’s enchanting. It’s beautiful. And although I THINK I might like mowing hay (and I can’t read that post until tomorrow, or late tonight… just a quick check right now), I know I wouldn’t like my plans changed. It would make me cranky, and I would probably say something unpleasant to someone.

  5. Louise Says:

    I commented in the wrong place yesterday; I had not read this post yet. This one is hilarious! Excellent post. My favorite part is “don’t move the mower adjustments.” Actually I have a lot of favorite parts, but that one made me REALLY laugh!

  6. Reluctantfarmchik Says:

    Skittles, thanks for stopping by, and for referring Misty Dawn/Musings – she’s so cute.

    Maggie – great to make contact after all these years!

    Misty – how come sheep didn’t work out? I think sheep are cute. But I know NOTHING about their care. I think I want a fainting goat. We have one field that could possibly handle a goat.

    Louise – the main funny thing about “don’t move the mower adjustments” is that I really have no clue which levers ARE the mower adjustments. So my attempt to adjust something else (from radio or air conditioner to speed of motor) might result in a mower adjustment change. The cab of a tractor looks like a veritable cockpit to me (I’m just a simple person). Looks like I might have my first fluffing experience today. Ummm. Objection! Candidate is NOT qualified (or interested nor inclined) to run the fluffer. The only possible up-side of fluffing and raking is that I can wear shorts and a tank top and get some sun. But then comes the nasty reality of allergies.

  7. » Blog Archive » Shades of Gray Says:

    [...] You can see another really cool misty shot from this week here. [...]

  8. Melissa's Cozy Teacup Says:

    I love mist and fog. Sigh. Don’t get much of either where I live.

  9. Michelle Says:

    You have the most wonderful sense of humor and can relay it..LOL..

  10. CrazyCow Says:

    Love your blog, and your sense of humour.

    With the rain we’re having today, I may just need this recipe soon! :-)

  11. Angel Says:

    I thought the snorting and the lack of breathing got you out of hay stuff. Listen to the itchy red bumps…they know what they are talking about. No flips this year? You are getting better!

  12. Deirdre Says:

    Melissa, Michelle, and Cow – thanks for stopping by. Glad you could get a laugh from my existence – stop by again, I’ll try to find another for you :-)

    Angel – the Dr. Lady only THOUGHT she would get me out of hay fields. Prince Farming doesn’t hold with such madness. AND, let the record reflect that I have never FLIPPED any equipment. I have significantly jack-knifed, which might be what you’re referring to. And I maintained that record, this year, and did a terrible jack-knife this past week too. I was able to maneuver out of it (despite the precarious angles) and heave the bent metal arm back into place so that no one is the wiser (now, except for my readership, but you won’t tell, will you?!)

  13. Brian Bowen Says:

    Ok, its a bit hard to see that spider… but it looks to me to be a brown widow.

    Yep, brown. They have started showing up down here in Georgia all over the place. Nasty buggers, appearantly twice as poisonous as the black variety, BUT not as aggressive.

    Sooooooooooo what ever you do… don’t eat it!

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