Oct 28, 2010

Harvest and Hauling
High-flying HAY!"

Part I

Remember "Between the Hägg and the Syren" when we discovered that the ventilation fan in the barn didn't work? 
As the haybarn is being filled with hay it is imperative to keep the ventilation going to avoid the danger of molding and combustion. The two fans we were relying on were 25-30 years old. 
After talking it over with the father/son team at MEAB, Pappa decided it would be the safest plan to order two new fans which could be used next year in the new hay barn and serve this year as a back-up in case the old fans broke down in the middle of the haying.   
With Gustav and Maxie we hooked up the trailer and took another trip to the village of Åsmon to pick up the fans, loading first one then the other and strapping them both down for the trip back to Eden.
Now we felt we were prepared for any eventuality.

And with his ever-present scanning of the Blocket Pappa found a fabulous used hay wagon at  1/10th of what it would have cost us new.  It had been on a farm in a different part of Sweden than we are but there was a transport truck coming our way and the driver brought it to us. 
Yet another insurance factor for the haying season.

And as kind of a fun twist of fate...when Pappa was putting the hay wagon away he called me over and said he needed to show me something.
We had been trying and trying to find a new source for some piglets this year as the farmer who usually sells them to us had had serious illness and had none.  We had been unsuccessful, despite numerous attempts.
But when the haywagon was delivered....

Look what was in the back!
It turned out Pappa had located a sow and a boar not too far off  the transport driver's route, so arrangements were made to bring the piglets at the same time. 
We told Gustav and Maxie they could each name one so Gustav named the boy "Tony" and Maxie named the girl (who was quite a chubster) "Burken", which means in Swedish "the short,  fat,  jar".

With the haywagons ready, we started to watch the weather reports every minute, looking for a three to four day rain-free stretch which is needed to cut, turn, row-up and take in a field of hay.  In just a day or two, we  felt we had a possible shot at it.

Step 1:
The cutter is loaded onto the tractor and the waiting field is cut.  It's best to do this in the evening, so here is Pappa on his way out late in the day to get started right in. The fields are so lush and green.  

Step 2:

The next day about noon, when all of the dew has evaporated, and with one of the smaller tractors fitted with the turning attachment, Gustav goes out to turn and flip all the cut hay so it will dry properly.  The circular arms are lowered and rotate at amazing speed for aeration. This turning must be done at half-day intervals as many times as necessary to dry the hay adequately.

Step 3:

This is the time to gather the cut and dried hay into windrows so it can be picked up and loaded.  The term for this in Swedish is "Stränglägga".

Step 4:

With the haywagon in tow the windrows - look right in front of the tractor and you can see one of the windrows - are gathered in with a kind of rotating finger-like conveyer belt action (something like a rollbrush) until the wagon is full to the brim....close to 30 cubic meters of beautiful winter feed for our animals.
  Then we head home for the unloading. 

This field, which we lease in a neighboring village, is done.
There are many more to be completed - in all we take in about fifty wagon loads total for one of the hay barns.

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