Hay, You

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We all know that hay pretty much goes with the own-a-horse equation. And those of us who don't board our horses out, but keep them at home instead, know this as well: The finding, transporting, stacking, and rehandling of hay is right up there on the Major Chores list. And then there's the matter of paying for it.

I have this on my mind because today's the first day of our personal haying season. We'll be bringing the first of this year's locally grown hay crop into the barn, for the coming winter. And since good hay weather is also hot weather, there'll be some sweatin' by the oldies at our place today. Hay season: That's been the meaning of summer for me, ever since I was a kid, growing up on a farm. If you weren't cutting and baling hay, you were hauling, loading and unloading it, or feeding and cleaning up after the crew that did, and you worked at it until you had a whole winter's supply for your animals. That's how I still approach it.

So much for afternoons at the lake, at least for the next spare-time while.

Now I'm curious about how YOU go about laying in a hay supply. There's a big range between one bale bought at a time, from a feed store, to having a semi load delivered and stacked by a paid crew. When it shows up on your to-do list, what does "Get Hay" mean to you?