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Making Hay and Other Doings

June 24th, 2008

“Make hay while the sun shines.” A wise old axiom that’s been around for generations, and has more than a few meanings. I like to think of it as “Get things done while conditions are favorable.” It has been time to cut hay for many folks in our area now, but the on again-off again rainshowers have made it difficult. Ideally a good 3-4 day stretch of dry weather is necessary to cut, rake and bale the hay. I’ve mentioned it before, but we don’t cut hay ourselves; a local dairy farmer makes the rounds and takes hay off fields that wouldn’t be used otherwise. We appreciate the fields being cut once a year, and they appreciate the good hay. There’s still one field left to cut, but this morning it rained buckets and delayed things at least another day.

Hay bales in June

I can’t imagine how much more it costs these days to “make” a bale of hay with the price of diesel fuel. I know I’ve reduced the number of hours I spend on the tractor cutting grass, but that’s not an option for a farmer who needs hay for his livestock. Hopefully energy prices will stablize soon, and head back to more reasonable levels. I’ve been calculating the cost of driving various places lately and it’s kind of amazing to see how much we spend on fuel. But it is what is. As for me, I need to “make hay” with quite a few projects too. I don’t always act while conditions are favorable… but I try!

Think I posted some day lily pictures before too, but I was wondering- do day lilies grow everywhere? They sure bloom abundantly here from plantings long established. And they just seem to get bigger each year. I like them because they really “grab” and help stabilize the soil, and can be transplanted very easily. You may dig a shovel of roots, plop them near a tree or ditch and forget about them. Before you know it they’ve sprouted and will bring flowers year after year. Maybe I also like their tall and showy color to brighten the landscape. But no pruning required… I wish all plants were as simple!

Day Lilies growing in June

5 Responses to “Making Hay and Other Doings”

  1. Pabloon 25 Jun 2008 at 5:27 am

    Some have speculated that all of the orange roadside daylillies you see everywhere are a single clone.

  2. Ed Abbeyon 25 Jun 2008 at 7:33 am

    Evidently Iowa is part of “everywhere” because they grow up here. They used to be at every old abandoned farmsteads in my area but “flower hunters” have cleaned them out. But you still see them at active farmsteads and occasional groupings in ditches.

  3. Beauon 25 Jun 2008 at 8:34 am

    Really, clones? That’s interesting. I read an old bee book from decades ago in Missouri that mentioned flowers like them, and wondered if they were the same. Sounds like it, especially around the farmsteads in Iowa too. Flower hunters? Hmmm…. haven’t seen any of those around!

  4. Ed Abbeyon 26 Jun 2008 at 8:06 am

    When my grandfather died, our family moved to his farm because most of the farm equipment and buildings were over there. We left behind our old farmstead and lots of flowers that had been transplanted over the years. Flash forward a couple years and my Great Aunt died and I was sent over to the old place to liberate some flowers for the funeral. I pulled into the driveway only to find an older lady there digging up the very flowers I was after and putting them in 5-gallon buckets. I told her that my parents owned them and I required them to bury a relative. She was so embarrasses that she gave me the flowers and her buckets they were in. But as the years went by, the others disappeared, even the large peonies bushes. But if you have ever gone to a legitimate store like Earl Mays and tried to buy them, I guess I can understand where the temptation to steal them comes from. Annuals are expensive.

  5. Beauon 26 Jun 2008 at 8:30 am

    Wow… that’s was quite a surprise. I guess when there’s lots of acreage, some folks forget that it’s still someone’s property, even for an older farmstead. We have peonies too- full grown ones take years to develop. Neat story- thanks.

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