Saturday, 6 July 2019

Epic Haymaking Mission Achieved!

We are so very grateful to everyone who has helped us achieve our haymaking this year!  We now have 785 bales stacked and safe in the barn and it is such a relief to have it all successfully completed!

There are so many people we need to thank - with Ted now unable to do the tractor work for the hay,  and Faye's allergies making it very uncomfortable/difficult to breathe for weeks when handling newly made bales we relied heavily on outside help.  Margaret wasn't able to do the food prep either so we needed a plan B and a change of roles!

Roger's cake reward!
Our neighbour Roger was fantastic and did all the cutting, turning and reweing, and fixed the flat 8, and for 2 nights brought his tractor and trailer to help load bales and bring them in for us so people could concentrate on stacking.  This was such a huge undertaking and help for us, particularly when he had so many other things going on with his farm.  He was unable to stay for the food too so we hope the cake we made him to say thank you goes some way to rewarding him for all his hard work!

Whilst Roger was busy in the field preparing the grass for us, we needed to get the barn ready for the incoming new crop.  This meant a few days rearranging the barn and moving out A LOT of older and 2018 bales, cutting down any that had unusable bad ends and retying and then restacking again in the stable.  Archie was my "right hand man" with this and we spent 3 days moving bales and fixing any subsidence issues in the old stack.  We needed to fill any dangerous holes and take up all the old, loose hay which Margaret loaded up into huge dumpy bags. 

We have a permanent hedgehog nest in our barn so we are used to building this in and working around them.  On this occasion we also discovered a bumble bee nest and so there was much deliberation on whether we should try to relocate or move them.  Thankfully we've been able to leave them where they were and build around them - probably the safest solution for the humans and the bees!

Thanks to Ted and Jenny, we ordered food and drinks to keep all the helpers provisioned...but helpers were proving extremely difficult to find - our thanks to Jane, Sharon and Izy for taking to Facebook in an effort to find us some help.  With so little help coming forward but with with the weather thankfully set in our favour the only solution was to bring bales in over multiple evenings until we had it completed.  Angela agreed to come for a couple of days from Cornwall to help with tractoring and moving bales.
Thursday Night Hay Crew: Lucie, Louise, Andy, Angela, Archie and Callum

On Thursday evening the hay was baled.  Thankfully our helpers arrived!   Archie brought his friend Callum along to help...and we were joined by Andy, Lucie and Louise from Witheridge and between them they managed to stack half the crop!  It was so hot this evening - absolutely roasting and everyone worked so incredibly hard for us and they were determined not to stop and give up!  It's amazing how a group of people who have never met before can come together like this and work so efficiently for a common cause.  Great team work everyone!

The next day Archie and Angela helped me with the pony work in the morning and then over the course of the evening we were joined by Heather, Alex, Catherine, Victoria, Edward, Vicky, Jim and little Henry.  By 8 O' Clock everything was stacked in the barn and we could at least reward our helpers with food - which was Faye's main well as all the other pony work of course!   

So...thank you again to everyone from the ponies...and to Ted and Jenny who donate the hay to the ponies meaning that we have a years worth of food for them - it is such a huge gift.  Whatever the weather the ponies now have a fully stacked barn of best quality hay and they are very lucky ponies indeed!

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