A ‘picture’s worth a thousand words’? Hmm, sometimes. But not always. Multiple photos were put in the video for the Scottish Crofting Federation (which you can see on the Birchwood Croft Facebook page). Oww, lovely, I hear some say. Aye, well, may I give a bit more detail on these two.
OK, a tractor (with loader) and a baler. The tractor had been bought at Dingwall Mart’s Implement Sale (yes, women buy implements, even if auctioneers keep saying ‘boys, boys, boys’ at the mart). Because what else do you go and buy when you realise you are pregnant? Yep, not just a tractor (we had one) but one with a front loader. Because up until then we used a bale spike on the back of our dexta and we lifted the ring feeder up to put the hay in. Correct, no ‘heavy’ lifting while pregnant yet the job was mine while the Crofter went to work and we knew that going into winter I would need something.
In the mean time, that same summer, we had a dry week which was nearly perfect for making hay. As expected, the Crofter was at work and I was working full time. So, grass got cut before work, it got turned several days on the trot after work (yes, I understand the longer it takes to bale, the less nutritious it is but I didn’t have the freedom to turn it during the day so you just work with what you’ve got). And once it seemed dry enough, I started baling.
From baling, my prize was getting the above photo worth of bales in. Not much but, having never worked a baler (I became very good with replacing broken shear bolts) I was shattered (and chuffed to be honest). If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving may not be for you, but hay baling could be an option. The rest of the field just had to wait until more hands (ie, The Crofter) arrived. Even superhero’s need sleep!
If Hank Williams (Hey, Good Lookin’) had been a crofter…
Say, hey, New Holland
Whatcha got broken?
How about baling up some hay for me?
Whay-hay, sweet meadow
Don’t you think maybe
It’s time we got you a brand new hay row turner?
I’ve got a four day outlook and a sunny forecast.
And I know a spot right here on the croft
There’s an empty lean to and the cows will want food.
So if you wanna start working, that’ll be fine with me…