Making Hay

Farmer business meeting.

Making hay can be a tricky and frustrating job. You’ve got weather to deal with, such as hot and dry weather with no dew, or cool and moist weather with too much dew or rain, or non-drying days due to clouds or too much humidity.  The list goes on. Then you add a touch of humanness, such as impatience, too much patience, worry, indecisiveness, life distractions, fatigue and so on. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about machinery. You have adjustments, breakdowns, operator errors, scheduling for using the machinery, etc.

Harrow bed

This brings me to the 1st cutting of alfalfa hay in 2016. There was the appearance of a long dry window in the forecast which is perfect for cutting alfalfa in our area. So I cut. I operate a harrow bed for a man who has a custom hay business.  I was busy with 16-24 hour days on the tail end of hauling for all the hay farmers who cut earlier. Enter - the weather. The clouds and humidity came out of nowhere along with a chance of rain. The hay stopped drying. Alfalfa hay needs to have just the right amount of moisture when you rake it so the leaves stay on the stems. Then came the human element; fatigue, frustration, worry, impatience, indecisiveness. I started obsessing over this hay because I was concerned  it  would not dry, and I had buyers coming to get it in two days. So I ended up raking it too early, which made it even harder to dry. This resulted in having to call the buyers and reschedule, which in turn meant they would have to reschedule trucks and people on their end. Not to mention the hay was laying on the ground losing nutrition and value by the day. Oh yeah, and did I mention – rain was coming?

Well, in the days that followed, the hay finally got dry so I started baling. Enter - machinery. The baler was brand new but still gave me problems which caused me to miss my baling window and the hay got too wet with dew. Here in Central Oregon we bale our alfalfa hay at night once the dew has fallen so the leaves stay together, but too much moisture and you run the chance of having the hay mold. So after some adjustments, I tried the next night. Same problem! By that time I was  totally shot--emotionally, mentally and physically. I could do nothing but give up, swallow my pride and ask for help. Later that morning, with the help of a seasoned haymaker, I finally got the alfalfa hay baled. The buyer came and in the end everything worked out just fine.

Kids on old dump rake.

What took me so long to ask for help? PRIDE. The same thing that keeps me from asking God for help in the midst of life’s ups and downs. He is always there ready for me to ask for help. I don’t even have to wait until I’m at the end, He is always available. So yes, life, like hay, can be a bit tricky and frustrating at times, but we don’t have to do it all on our own. Our help comes from the Creator of all.

In Him, Charlie