Hay harvest certainly is that way when we think about how it was done this year, compared to decades gone by.
Being a town kid, the first hay harvest we recall was when Dad mowed a small grass lot with an old horse-drawn sickle mower that he pulled with a clunker Allis tractor.
We didn’t have a rake except one for raking leaves in the yard. So, it and pitchforks were used to accumulate the hay that we loaded on a little trailer behind the car and hauled in to be stacked in the shed.
For several years, a custom baler was hired to put up hay for us on the “40” north of town. We still felt abused hand-loading 36 bales on the pickup to be transported and stored in the lean-to.
When Dad bought a John Deere 1020 with three-point sickle mower, side-delivery-rake and small square twine baler, we came up in the world.
Still no hay trailer, so bales were dropped on the ground, and we had to load them on the pickup to haul in and stow away in the hot old barn hay loft.
Dad would mow and rake while we were at our town job, so the hay was ready to bale when we got home. It doesn’t sound like much, but our goal was 100 bales a day, and that still makes us tired remembering it.
When big round balers came out, we were the first one to hire our neighbor to bale most of our hay. Big round bales put up by custom-operators today comprise most of our feed. However, the boy bought a swather and tractor to mow the crop.
Still some square bales are needed, and the better half just loves baling them from Dad’s 1020 seat. Best thing is that another pull-behind device accumulates the hay into eight-bale-packs that the boy can pick up with a tractor fork..
Fortunately, the boy acquired tractor-operating-skills from his grandpas and momma. He stacks the bales neatly in the barn, seldom leaving his tractor seat. Sure a lot easier than in the olden days.
Reminds us of Jeremiah 3:16: “The so-called good old day are gone for good.” Thus, First Thessalonians 3:6: “We feel a lot better.”