hay and rain

   The temperatures are still blistering, and the number of jobs that need immediate attention is growing.  In the midst of a minor drought as we are, we might suppose that to find five dry days in which to cut and bale hay would be the work of a moment; but no, the meteorologists who cannot promise rain, cannot promise that we will have no precipitation either.  Skeptical as we may sometimes feel about the accuracy of our weather forecasting, we dare not cut hay without the expectation of at least four consecutive dry days, days of no more than a thirty percent likelihood of showers.  With a forecast for dry weather until Saturday, Tuesday we cut Barry’s haymeadow.

  Wednesday evening found us in the field trying to put some almost-dry hay into bales before the arrival of a rogue thunderstorm suddenly appearing in the Thursday forecast.  About sixty bales were either put into Barry’s barn or tarped in the field; this morning amid light sprinkles we got the rest baled and in the barn, stacked cut-side up and scattered with a handful of stock salt per bale to cure them since they were undeniably damp.  We read about salting bales in J. S.’s Salad Bar Beef book, then searched online and found many other advocates of salting damp hay.  We hope to goodness it really works to prevent molding, and more importantly, to prevent spontaneous combustion of the tightly packed hay.  I think if our new barn was to burn down we might resign from farming and go to Manchuria as missionaries.

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