They are made with a mix of equipment, a number of tractors, specialised machinery. You start with your field of course:
You cut the grass (we are making silage here, not hay) with your rather older tractor and blades:
You spread the grass out fairly evenly, because the farmer down the way is bringing in newer, more specialised equipment that requires this:
And then the bad boys come along — a father and son duo who have bought these to manage their own 200 acres and earn more money from them helping smaller farmers out because look at what these tractors do. The first collects all the spread hay into larger lines the correct size:
Correct size for what? For this massive tractor-baler combination that sweeps up the hay and spins it all into this round bale so fast the air is whipped right out of it:
It pings when ready, and the driver waits a moment, and then as the bale is being wrapped in black plastic wrap, he can continue forming the next bale:
I know it pings because, look at me! I’m in a tractor! It was pretty awesome.
Also awesome was sitting for a while and watching the tractors at work, it had been a long hard day.
I also learned to chop wood today, and learned that I really enjoy chopping wood. It started out humbling because I was really really terrible. But I got better.
And finally, the baby animals that started and ended my work day:
Sandy, the lovely calf:
I love her.
The lambs are alright, but fight and fight to get their milk and do all kinds of headbutting at the bottles so they often lose their grip all together — Sandy just gives one great head butt when she’s finished (I so was not ready for that my first go round), but still I feel for the mothers of the animal kingdom. I have to catch two of the lambs in this pen and feed them, and then the other two, or total mayhem will ensue because these are greedy little buggers:
Lilly the Kid, perched up on this brick asking me for more corn after her bottle — she is too little to push her way in amongst the others to get to the one of the two buckets.
We also found this perfect little mouse’s nest under the shed we moved from the field that was mowed, it was quite wondrous:
All of these things help me feel a little better after continuing to receive rejections, a particularly mean one today. At least the £1,000 advance from Verso stands against the flow…
For lots more on farming…