Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hay Fever

There are benefits to being free on a Saturday afternoon.  Yesterday, I got a call from a friend who lives on a sheep ranch looking to see if I was available to help stack hay.  

My farm experience is limited to feeding goats at the petting zoo, so of course, I said yes.

I showed up and this is how the barn looked:

All the baled hay from the fields needed to be moved inside before it rains, so our work was cut out for us (a crew of three women, three men, an eleven-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy.

Here are some thoughts from the day (prepare for the obvious):

-Nothing makes you feel like a bigger sissy than farm work.  I'm in pretty good shape from rock climbing, and I thought I was strong for my size.  It turns out I'm quite wrong.

-Anything farmy with children makes the best combination.  Kids make hard work seem fun (when it's outside at least), they become better people through it, and they get tired more quickly.

-Sustainable communities are full of really, really nice people.

-Hay bales are kind of heavy and involve some technique in moving- the only way that worked for me was jamming a hay hook into the front edge and dragging it while scooching my body backwards.  My guess is it wasn't a pretty sight.

-I've had a sore shoulder for a couple months and the hard manual labor actually made it feel heaps better.

-Sometimes I can forget how wonderful it is to give your time to help others.  It's a great reminder that I need to do it more often.

After three loads with two trucks and a trailer, this is what we were left with:

Now if you'll excuse me, the tub is calling for me and my weary, wussy bones.

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