Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Haying Season

Hot June days like the ones we are now experiencing bring me back to what seemed to be even hotter days when growing up in the country and watching the hay wagons being brought in from the fields. I didn't understand at that age how very hot it was for the men handling the bales-the very picky bales of hay that scratched your skin and left you itching for quite awhile.

My grandfather's farm included rambling hay fields.When a wagon was brought over the plank bridge and up the hill and over the rock bed where a small stream flowed until the summer sun dried it up, my cousins and I would get excited. We'd run to meet the wagon and try to wedge our way up onto it somewhere between the bales and ride all the way to the barn. We never realized how picky those bales were until we jumped off as the work of getting the bales out of the wagon and up into the silo began.

I've never seen such hard work but it did get rewarded. My grandmother and her daughters cooked all morning-and I mean cooked. At noon a full-course, sit-down meal was served to all the workers. I remember helping. I remember bowls of home-grown lettuce covered in vinegar and bowls of fat at both ends of the table for the men to dip their homemade bread into. Of course there were homemade mashed potatoes, homegrown vegetables and of course, the beef or pork from the farm and my grandmother's mouthwatering homemade pies. After the meal was finished it was back out into the fields where the sun was still hot and the hay was still high and picky but the work seemed to go a little faster after a full-course meal had been served and enjoyed!

(The picture above is at my grandfather's farm way before I even remember-when horses were used instead of tractors. Either way the haying was done-it was very hard labor in the heat of the summer.)


  1. How could they go back to work after eating all that food? Surely they would have needed a siesta? Farmers are hard workers.

  2. I don't remember but they could have taken a break. If they did it wouldn't have been for very long especially when the weather was good-since farming revolves around the weather.