Between all the hot and humid weather, numerous predicted thunderstorms (and a couple that actually produced rain), we finally found a window and got our field of hay put up. Jim Dunn mowed it on Friday, July 24, tedded it later that day and again last Saturday, and then raked it into windrows and baled it on a very muggy 90+ degree day on Sunday.
We had an excellent crew of Liz and Matt, farm volunteer sisters Mary and Mikayla, neighbor Sumner and his friend Ronin, and Ann and I and we got all 900 or so bales stacked in the indoor of the barn between 1:00 and 4:30. It's more hay than we've ever had in there at one time but it was our best option as the usual storage area in the barn attached to the house isn't available because the foundation hasn't yet been repaired.
It isn't top quality (in a protein and other nutritional sense) because of the late harvest, but it is good enough to be horse quality (not dusty or moldy).
Almost every riding lesson this week avoided the heat of the ring for part of the lesson and rode through the hay field/pasture and the trail we made this spring through the woods that connects Mesa Farm with our neighbor's to the East, (the Woodruff's) Harmony Ridge farm.
Next plan for the hay field is to have our compost/manure pile spread on it before the grass gets too thick. Then the sheep will graze it for a couple months and perhaps even the beef cattle and horses if we get enough rain and the grass grows rapidly. The horses were able to graze the 10 acre field as their sole diet last year for a month.
First photo: Kids and horses enjoying the field
Second photo: Over 1000 bales of small (35 pound) bales stacked on 57 large (700 pound) bales of hay. This should last until March!