Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fresh fields

There are a couple of fields across the valley from our house. The near one's visible but the far one's over the hill so it's out of sight. When we first came here about five years ago, both fields were scrubland and overgrown forests. Watched in amazement as the farmer and his two sons cleared the area, dug it over, burnt the stumps, smoothed the earth and then seeded it with grass. Now they're proper field providing valuable pastureland for the farming family's many cattle herds.

Couple of months ago the cattle were moved on and the grass was allowed to grow to about a metre high. Last week it was cut and left to dry in the hot sun. This morning the farmer's two tractor-driving sons set about stacking the hay into neat rows about three metres apart. These rows were then scooped up into a circular box thing that spat out hay rolls which were left scattered across the field. They've just finished the near field and have now moved on to the far one. Then when that's done, they'll stack the rolls onto a trailer and store them as winter cattle feed in one of their many barns.

The barn just across the lane, in the shadow of the church, is already full to bursting point with dozens of these rolls so they'll have to be stored elsewhere. As well as the hay that's stored in the barns, there are other rolls piled in various fields. But because they're out in the open, they've been shrink-wrapped in black plastic sheeting. I always think they look quite 'arty' in a modern sculpture kind of way. And I often think how boring this hay must be to eat. Still, the cattle seem to like it. Especially when the ground's covered in snow in winter. Hard to imagine winter at this time of year. But it'll soon be here.


  1. I love the sight of those bales of hay sitting drying in the sunshine. And we have a few sitting on our front field which has just been cut by a local farmer. Ah, this time of year is so yieldsome.

  2. Aye Vera, it's a cracking time of year.