[Old post warning. This is from 10 years ago and a peek into our family life!]
In an effort to restore our land to an organic state (no more conventional corn and beans with chemicals), we turned all the land to a hay meadow. To do that, we planted organic alfalfa and clover. Besides taking the soil from compacted and dead to mineral-rich and balanced, we lowered our exposure to glyphosate and our bees LOVE it and are (still) thriving!
Just recently, with a big no-rain weather window, the men in our family spent 9 days cutting, raking, and baling over a hundred acres of hay, some for a friend and then our meadows. There were lots of ‘breakdowns’ and repairs needed, as is typical. It is hard, tiring work, but over the years it has played a role in making our boys into men.
While certainly not all of it, learning to work with diligence plays a very important role.
I must admit ‘doing hay’ is not a favorite of mine, even if I’m not out in the fields.
I have serious allergies to pollen, grasses, and especially hay. The allergies can be debilitating and it takes a toll in health and cleaning, but it is part of my life since I am married to a man who loves to be outdoors and work on the land. He is not a farmer, but a businessman; nevertheless, he has never outgrown that desire to get on a tractor and find something to do!
Our idea of raising responsible children was to have our boys work alongside my husband. He learned his work ethic growling up on a dairy farm, and wanted to teach our kids the same kind of self-discipline and work ethic since it often translates into creating mature, creative, capable adults.
This lifestyle is something I may never grow to love, but I am learning to contribute towards it and be thankful. It is certainly worth it to sacrifice for the character development of our children!
The guys try hard to keep the dust outside, showering and changing clothes. I am getting where I can do it (from inside our home) with a smile on my face, and more importantly, peace and contentment in my heart.
First, there is the cutting.
After it’s dry, it must be raked into what are called “wind-rows” for baling.
Finally, comes the baling, and sometimes if rain is coming, you hurry and friends come to help with the hard work!
This time, we did get the hay finished without it getting wet, selling almost all right out of the field.
I thank God for His provision and the help that came from neighbors when the first baler broke. And miraculously, the Lord sent an ‘angel’ (we did find out who he was later) to us who knew exactly how to run the second baler!
I can say with confidence, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” ~Isaiah 40: 29
“The men in charge of the work were diligent, and the repairs progressed under them.” ~2 Chronicles 24: 13
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” ~Proverbs 22: 29