Hay Making 2014 – Outdoor Hay Stacks

Life seems busier then ever and I haven’t found time lately to post updates on the hay making! Here is something I wrote last week and have just got around to finishing.

Thursday 24th July.
We bought in more of the hay mown during the week, plus two more racks. All of this hay was put onto the outside hay stack that we started building on Wednesday evening.

A Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) in the hay field. It will be left until it has set seed.

A Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) in the hay field. It will be left until it has set seed.

It is an interesting experience to be doing something relatively new again. We have been hand hay making for quite a few years now and what used to feel like hard work and some what of a struggle has become slick and easy with practice. Phil is able to mow more grass in the same amount of time as his ability to keep his scythe sharp has grown, we have modified and refined our techniques for handling the hay, building racks etc and it generally all runs like clock work. Cae Mari Jones no longer looks like a huge daunting expanse of grass as it did in the early years!

Building a free standing hay stack however is rather new. It is not as easy as building one in a barn that is supported on at least two sides and I am not very practised at it! Keeping the sides straight, the hay lying in the right direction and creating a rounded top on a stack well over head height is certainly challenging. Still I have done my best and I am sure the next one will be better.

While looking for hay stack building tips on the internet, I came across this site. Gene Logsdon bills himself as a “Contrary Garden Farmer”, a lovely description. I too have often thought that the Olympics (or more topically the Commonwealth Games) would be improved by competitions in something useful like hay stack building….