fall spring fall winter

 

  Hey, we're making hay!

Harvest links  

 

This year we’ve taken on a whole new project at the farm: haymaking! The past two years, it’s been difficult to find hay and it’s been very expensive. More acres in corn, fewer in hay, and drought all contributed to its scarcity and high price. Our growing system relies on tons of mulch. We like mulching – a lot! This got us thinking. What if we used the land between and around our gardens to make hay? We started putting the puzzle together which included purchasing a mower, a rake and a baler. We found a used mower from an equipment dealer in Michigan. It needed a little more work than we anticipated. We purchased a few new parts, got some advice from our neighbor Jim and some expertise and muscle from our son-in-law Ben. The mower was ready to go. As for the rake and baler, our friend Lee offered the use of his machinery. The rake and baler were made in the early 60’s or so but Lee figured there was still life in them; we figured they were a perfect way to experiment with our haymaking scheme. So, Lee pulled the rake out of the weeds and the baler out of shed and Mike hauled them over to Spring Hill. The mower was given its first workout Sunday afternoon and on Thursday we were ready to rake and bale. The sun was shining (as everyone knows it must for haymaking) and, after a few adjustments, the rake was flipping the mowed grass into nice, thick rows ready to accommodate the baler. We gave the hay a few hours of drying time and hooked up the baler. Everything was clipping along - except one of the two strings wasn’t tying. We tried, unsuccessfully, to figure out what was wrong and eventually headed over to our neighbor’s for advice. On the way over, we spied another neighbor finishing up the last of his baling and we quickly pulled the truck over to ask some questions. Armed with new knowledge of how to thread the needle and trip the mechanism, we headed back to our place. The adjustments worked, we were making hay! A few bee stings (we ran over a nest) and a flat tire on the baler later, we needed to put the project on hold. But, we had enough bales to be excited about the potential. There are plenty of improvements to be made, and more pieces of the puzzle to put together, but I think there’s more haymaking in our future! It feels really, really good.

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One of the recipes this week is Bryant Terry’s Collard Greens with Raisins – here’s a video of him making it:


2015 Events
Sunday, September 27th - Fall Work Day
Saturday, November 7th - Harvest Dinner

MISSION
To be a sustainable farm that provides for the land, the farmers, and a community committed to connecting to their source of food and eachother.


GUIDING PRINCIPLES
• share in the work to create a farm that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable;
• share the risk and share the bounty;
• make decisions together;
• ensure that the size of the farm holds in balance considerations of land, community, and farm viability;
• work together to nurture a friendly and creative community.