Saturday, 17 October 2015
The Hay is Baled and Stored
The contractor baled our hay on Saturday. What a wonderful feeling it is to get it cut and baled after working hard for many months to grow the best crop of meadow hay that we can produce.
We never plough our land and although Brian direct drilled some oats into the pasture crop, the Galahs appeared in huge numbers and ate nearly every grain. We had less than average rain during this year so the growth was shorter than usual.
At various times during the last twelve months Brian has put out his bio-dynamic preparations and liquid fertilizers made here on farm using all natural ingredients. When he's putting out 500 he mixes in some of his weed teas, liquid manure and molasses so he gets the whole cocktail out there into the soil without the need to drive over it more than necessary, thus causing as little soil compaction as possible.
When aiming for a high level of self sufficiency, this is one of the best sites we could possibly see on our little farm.
This stockpile of hay is security. It will feed our animals throughout the coming year giving us meat and milk for ourselves and a small income from sales of meat and dairy products.
According to other farmers in our area this year's harvest is lower than average and hay will be expensive to buy for those who are not able to make their own. If we are careful and frugal this harvest will be enough for us until next season's cut. I hasten to add, that contractor's fees for our hay are not cheap either, but the price that we pay the contractor per bale is approximately one third to one quarter the cost of buying the same quality hay.
Another plus for cutting our own hay is knowing that the quality and nutrition level is very high, and has no foreign grass seeds and prickles that would impact our weed control program.
Our animals are fed totally on bio-dynamic and organic pasture and hay.
The new (to us) tractor was our major purchase this year. It should last us for many years to come and although Brian loved his 1956 Fergie TEA, this newer Ford tractor can out-perform dear old Fergie in so many ways.