The hay gets cut, and then it has to lie in the field for a couple of days to dry. Then it gets baled, or rolled, depending on how it will be stored. If there isn't a stretch of good, dry, sunny weather, the farmers don't risk cutting down the hay. If it gets rained on while it's lying in the field, it can wreck the crop. So the hay has been growing a lot longer than is ideal because it's been raining so much.
This week the weather finally shifted so everyone has been madly cutting down hay. You can hear the tractors in the field until late at night as they try to take advantage of the weather. Our first delivery was ready today. After work Michele, her kids and I pulled it in from the fields next door to me. It's only 12 rolls, but it feels so good to have something put aside. I had heard rumours of people having to get rid of livestock this winter because hay was scarce and therefore expensive, so they couldn't afford to feed their animals. That must be heartbreaking. We've been trying to calculate how much hay we'll need to get us safely through the winter, without buying too much and wasting it. I don't want to be scrambling next spring, paying a fortune for hay that we are desperate for.
It's almost like a root cellar - the hay barn is starting to be reassuringly stocked.