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I have inordinately happy about this past couple of weeks at the farm. It’s because we have been baling hay.

Let me explain.

When we first bought the farm, the pastures looked like this:

Not knowing much about anything we went to school. Cowboy school. At A&M. Anybody can go really, as long as you pay the money, and you can go to classes that talk a lot about hay and how to make sure it’s high quality, which turns out to be largely about fertilizer and soil tests and pH. And rain. Don’t forget the rain, which is of course, obviously going to be overwhelming problematic because you might be able to control the other variables I mentioned, but rain doesn’t fall into that category.

Sooo.. we had our soil tested and bought a tractor. I love this tractor. I am amazing in this tractor. I am strong in this tractor.

(Sorry, I get a little carried away about our John Deere.)

Turns out that not only did we have to apply 3 tons of fertilizer to our pastures (a special blend) but we also had to lime, another 3 tons. So our tractor pulled and spread all last fall and then again this spring. In the full knowledge that all last summer it failed to rain. And while we had hoped we have hay for our cows for the winter, we didn’t. Not only we didn’t, but very few others did and come last winter, we were buying the most expensive round bales of hay, every 4 days. I began to resent cow poop because it seemed to me like they could be more efficient in their digestive efforts.

So it was this spring and summer that we looked on our pastures with hope that this year wouldn’t see a drought like last. And that not only would we have hay for summer with new little calves and pregnant mommas, but that also, there would be plenty for the winter.

I love these round bales that you see below. They are ready when the trees lose their leaves and our black hided mammas are nursing their babies. Who would have thought dried grass could look so…promising.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVI45PBGE5Y[/youtube]

(Okay, so I am a little bit rusty on time lapse video.. but give me time..)