Saturday, June 1:
So much happens this time of year. The haying was last week, not going off without a hitch, but done now and no major glitches. We cut on Friday, hoping the forecast of dry weather would be prophetic. Instead, we got temperatures in the sixties, breezes, and rain on Sunday and Monday; only two tenths of an inch, but enough so that on Wednesday the cut grass was still just a little damp. More rain was forecast so we baled anyway. We got about a hundred and stacked them in the big barn loft cut ends up, throwing a handful of loose salt over each as it was laid down. Salt cured in this way they should be fine, but we’ll be keeping an eye on them for the next week or so to see if they start to heat up.
The rain didn’t materialize so we were able to finish at the monastery on Thursday afternoon; when we got to the last field up the road, however, we found one of the tractor’s front tires had broken a pin bearing. Still, rain was forecast, and, not to be caught out twice we turned all our forces into the field and pitched hay by hand, hauled it in the pickup to the crippled tractor, fed it through with a pitchfork, and got about sixty bales done before dark. Next day it still hadn’t rained, so we made another fifty or sixty bales the same way and called it quits. Today the men worked on the tractor, built a roof over the milking stanchion on the south side of the hill, and tinkered with their beautiful antique pickup, a 1949 GMC FC-150.
The garden is in a prolonged state of being planted, planted and tilled and manured and weeded and trimmed and planted some more. Soon we will be eating sweet green snap peas.