Thursday, July 24, 2008

Another Hay Day

The hay run I made a couple weeks ago was for a friend with limited truck and trailer capacity. This was a hay deal that I’ve been involved in for three years now, but I can no longer afford to purchase Eastern Oregon orchard grass. Instead this year I found a source for local hay up in Jewell. It is lower octane than the good Eastern Oregon stuff, but I will make due and adjust the horses’ nutrition to compensate. I ended up getting one hundred bales for the same price I’d pay for twenty bales of the Eastern Oregon orchard grass hay.

I showed up in the field with my truck at 9:00AM. There were already other trucks with trailers there with local kids loading. I am a one-man operation, so I’d drive up to a couple bales, get out, load, hop back in and drive to the next pile.

It was good to see kids out there working. I was sitting around a camp fire with a couple hay growers last weekend. They told me that it is really hard to find kids who want to work. Even when they enthusiastically agree to work, they rarely show up on the days you need them. Many hay growers compensate by making round bales that they can manage with their tractors. I saw Donna write a similar thing on her blog recently.

I feel sorry for anyone in agriculture that hopes to hire school kids these days.

After two round trips; there are now a hundred salted bales occupying the garage bay where my truck is normally parked. It will be so nice not paying nearly $20 per bale for at least the next 300 days.

Another good thing is that I can now clean out the hay from the bed of my truck. I often leave it since I used to make a weekly hay run. Eventually the rain turns it into compost and then it begins sprouting like I have a pasture on wheels.


Blogger Colonel Panic said...

its ok. we are becoming the old china. We will ride our bikes to our jobs in the fields that the mexicans abandoned when the dollar struck zero against the peso and they couldnt work under the table anymore.

But we will look great!

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Ginger said...


I like your site. Real, down to earth, and funny. Keep up the good work. I agree that it is hard to find kids that want to work. Each and every one of my kids (along w/ their friends) were out (in Jewell) picking up hay out of the fields. I just tell them it's good training for sports.

6:27 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Ginger, and it's good training to realize they need to get an education so they can either manage a farm in the future or get away from the farm all together.

Thanks for introducing yourself and for your kind words. I hope to keep it up as long as I have a story to tell.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Your advice is key: the same that we have given our kids and their friends for the past 8 years. My son, who is off to college for his fire science degree, has worked the fields and has done ride-a-longs w/ my husband, who is a paid fire fighter for Hillsboro. After working in the fields and then staying 24 hrs at the station, there was no doubt in his mind that getting an education was MOST IMPORTANT. I love your stories. You definitely have a knack and can probably find humor in anything. In the fire service, if we don't laugh, we'll you keep writing, and we'll keep laughing from your perspective.

7:44 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Thanks again, Ginger, though it isn't always sunshine and lolly pops around here, but I am trying to be more positive. And thanks to your family for keeping the flames under control.

7:54 AM  

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