Monday, June 6, 2011

The 1300-pound Object Goes to Work

Yeah, we know the manual is upside down.  It's better that way.
My husband and I have been piecing together the 1300-pound object and the 900-pound object as we need them, first mower, then rake, and soon, baler (yes, the two objects ultimately became three pieces of equipment).  

We achieved modest success by applying the three S’s (Sweat, Sockets and Swearing), and with the questionable assistance of operator’s manuals written by someone fairly unaccustomed to the nuances of English (“Bring the tractor near the machine to fix all parts of machine.”  “Take down the machine on a smooth place as being 5 cm diametered between continuation of middle point of inside lag and outside of tractor rear right wheel, and tighten top link.”  And my favorite, under the guarantee section:  “Obviously, all damage to person or things are executed from guarantee.” Obviously!).

The instructions made about as much sense to us as they do in the writer’s original language:  “Uc nokta hidrolik duzenli makinenin traktore takilmasinda, traktor makineye yaklastirilir…”

As people unfamiliar with farm equipment terminology as described by someone for whom English is a FIRST language, we soon discovered that looking at the drawings and ignoring all the written instructions worked best.

We had barely finished assembling the mower, when the meteorologist called for five days of sunny, clear weather.  Hot dog!  Time to make hay!  Stretches of sunny weather are very rare here at the time when hay is ready to cut.

So, on a brilliant, hot day, my husband mowed our 9-acre hay field.  It was very exciting to pick up fistsful of our own freshly cut hay for the first time. 

The next day, a thunderstorm rolled in and drenched our freshly cut hay.  I tried to sleep through the afternoon storm, because I just had to escape reality and I don’t drink or take drugs any more.   But this rain was real, and now we had to deal with rain soaking our freshly cut hay.   

Raking wherever my imagination takes me.
We read everything we could find on this situation, which comfortingly spanned  the possibilities between, “Horse hay that has been rained on should be thrown into the deepest circles of hell and must never go near a horse or the horse will die immediately” to “Rain, schmain.  Bale it.  Feed it.”

We settled on raking it multiple times.  We finished assembling the rake, set the rake to the “spread” position and I “spread” the hay the next day, which was again clear and sunny.   I achieved a result that can best be described as “clumpy.”

Today, we set the rake to “rake” position and I “raked” the hay into windrows.   Most hay makers follow a particular pattern when they do this, one that has been established for centuries as most easy and effective.  But I, not to be slowed down by archaic methodology, followed a nonsensical pattern of my own creation.  That is, until my husband appeared in the field with a drawing of the centuries-old pattern.  After seeing it (for the first time), I immediately switched to it, ultimately making our field looks like it was visited by crop-circle aliens after they had eaten a large baggy of hallucinogen mushrooms.

Tomorrow rain is again sneaking into the forecast, and we are forlornly waiting on a hydraulic hose for the baler.   The original hose was damaged in shipping.   Small Farm Innovations has overnighted one to us and advised us on how to use the baler without it by adding hydraulic fluid every 15 bales.  Sigh. 

Pray for sun and a hose, because one way or another, tomorrow, we bale.  
Queen Hudson samples the hay.

Starlight, taste testing

Dee gets a chomp.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there! One good rain can soak out some of the sugars, so it's not all bad. Crossing my fingers for you that you beat tomorrow's rain!

    Just think-- a whole new set of reasons to hate hay!