I know I have already mentioned the absolutely gorgeous and unseasonably warm temperatures we are having here in western PA for February but I am going to have to bring it up again. It is just unbelievably warm but I am not complaining. We love it. Is it warm where you live today? I hope so.
I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and stepped outside to take Charlie and his best buddy Bailey on a long walk on the farm. We will walk up the long dirt road and all through the hay fields before the hay has grown up!
Our new property has had so many different names since we started talking about the possibility of some day building here. The new property, Mom & Dad’s, the property and the farm. I am sure there are a few more but for the most part it’s the farm. 26 acres doesn’t automatically classify it as a farm but the original 57 acre farm that my parents bought almost 30 years ago was definitely a farm.
Yes, I grew up on a farm and loved every bit of it, well, almost every bit. Growing up on farm made so many memories, some good and some bad. When you tell someone these days that you grew up on a farm, most of the time you will see a strange look on their faces. When you tell them that you spent most of your days in the barn (by choice) on that same farm in your childhood, then they really have a strange look on their faces. Yes, in the barn, not in front of the TV with whatever video game or at the mall but outside and in the barn with our horses, cows, goats, dogs and chickens. No, the dogs weren’t in the barn but you get the idea. We may have seemed like the crazy kids at that point, but we were living the dream.
I remember as a child, telling my friends that we had to bale (if you aren’t familiar we basically cut the hay down out of the field, raked it to dry it and then used the tractor and baling machine to harvest it) hay that weekend instead of going to the party they had planned, the look was always strange. But for us, it was normal, sure we complained to our parents probably more than they wanted to hear it, but we did it. At that time my brother and sister and I were fortunate enough to have 7 horses in the barn that we took to local 4-H shows and the saddle club shows almost every weekend or we were able (which we did as much as possible) to ride them all over the farm. In order for those horses to eat, they needed hay. So, that is what we did.
Fortunately, the hay did most of the work on it’s own except for about 1 or 2 weeks out of the summer when my Dad would take the tractor out and cut down the field of hay, ted (or rake) the hay and then start the process of baling the hay. That’s where we started to help. All the hay needed baled and then put in the barn. This process was not only a lot of work but the temperature would usually be between 80 and 90 degrees outside in the middle of summer, which added to the frustration. Due to the fact that the hay was scratchy and itchy, the best thing to do was wear long sleeves and pants, in the middle of the summer. YUCK. But you were thankful that you did after the fact. Once the hay bales were put in the barn, usually about 1000 per summer, we would all feel such a great feeling of accomplishment. The fact that the actual process only took about a week, seems crazy now, because when we were growing up, we would dread that time of year and plan everything around it. No vacation at that time of year or horse shows, because when you have to work around the weather, you make hay when the sun shines. Haha. Get it?
It is so true though, because you can’t bale hay when it is raining, you have to wait for about 3 days of sunshine. In Pennsylvania summer weather, sometimes that is a long wait. Once that three day window appears, you jump on the chance regardless of what else is going on that week, because otherwise you take the chance of losing that hay and all of that feed for the horses. Let alone the thousands of dollars that hay would cost to purchase from another farmer. I believe that all the work we put into the farm, truly showed us the value of such an accomplishment. Now, as we have grown, building our new home or even a much smaller project, brings such a feeling of accomplishment. Do you ever feel that way? After you completed a tough project?
Thankfully, it’s not hay season just yet. So for today, I am just going to enjoy taking these sweet pups on a long walk in the field while the hay has barely started to grow.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope it is warm and sunny where you are today!