Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Flipping the hay

What's been keeping me busy is flipping, baling, and those dreaded pipes! Although my arms feel "buffed" the rest of my body is screaming "What the heck are you doing to me?" I've probably mentioned before that it is so much easier to do pipes with a partner but lately my partner has been my 4 yo son Jevan. And he tries, he really does... even with the promise of "one smartie for every pipe" the novelty wears off pretty fast. On the weekend Grandma and I took Sydney out to train show her just what we have to do, she was great... until we got to Rocky Flats. That's when the excitement wore off for her :)

Grandma and Sydney at Rocky Flats.

So you want to know what "flipping" is? C'mon, I know you do, you just never know when, someday, you'll be asked to "grab the flipper." :)

You take the "flipper," okay the technical term is "hay inverter." Mmmmh, I didn't know that until Hubby told me the other day, it's much easier to say "grab the flipper" and everyone knows what you're talking about. Anyway... after the hay is cut it lays there for awhile and the underneath doesn't dry out so good. You then "flip" it, wait a bit, and then bale it. Sometimes you flip it a few times, depending on if you are caught in a rain.

You attach the flipper to a tractor. This tractor is called "Little Dougie" after my Hubby's youngest brother, although he's not so "little" anymore, but the tractor has been around for quite awhile.

Pops gives a quick refresher course (less than 5 minutes) and sends you on your way. That's him in front of me flipping with the other flipper. We flipped two different fields so the pics are random from each one. I had to stop only once and pull out a bunch of jammed hay, not fun, from the top and side so one quickly remembers to slightly weave back and forth rather than straddle dead centre while flipping. I find with any kind of haying you are constantly watching behind you no matter what piece of equipment you're running.

The hay is picked up, lifted up to the flipper, then shot sideways and lays over beside you. The picture is a bit blurry because you are constantly ((((shaking))) while moving, and the flipper is tractor driven (no motor on itself) so it doesn't work unless you are moving. This picture was taken over my shoulder.

This is what the field looks like when you're done.

It took the two of us about 3 hours to complete and later that evening we baled until dark.

So far I've made three batches of HuntressD's corn relish, and it's sooo delicious! She left her recipe in my comment section so if you want it you'll find it here. The second time I made it I doubled the recipe and got seven pints. It's a great recipe, very easy and really quick, a great addition to my pantry cupboard! Thanks again to HuntressD!

Yesterday I started canning the peaches I bought and hopefully I'll finish those up today. I can them in pints so they are the perfect size for Sydney to take a bit in her lunch and Jevan will eat up the rest when he gets up. I was interrupted when Pops spotted a chicken way up the driveway and Grandma was so sure it was one of mine, like her chickens never wander... The chicken was never found and when I did my head count last night all mine were nicely tucked in our chicken coop :) Mmmm... must be another neighbour's...??

While everything is running pretty smooth, I was/am not. While coming off of one field after flipping, and heading to another, I spotted a calf in my garden, oh so nicely reefing my pepper plants out! I jumped off the tractor and went running over, determined to get the calf out with minimal damage (to the calf, myself, AND the garden). Things went pretty good, and between me and my dog Blue, the calf begrudgenly (is that a word?) left through the garden gate. Unfortunately I took about three steps and landed in a small hole twisting my ankle on the way down. After laying there flat on my backside for two minutes, saying words I cannot repeat and that would probably make a sailor blush, and darn sure I busted my ankle, I got up, hobbled over to the tractor and went on my way to the next field. It's much better today and as long as I keep moving my ankle feels okay, but I'm blaming all this on Hubby!! I told him last weekend my garden gate needed fixing... just wait 'til he gets home this Friday!

Happy hump day to everyone, the weekend is almost here :)


Louise Z said...

It looks like a lot of work to me..doing field stuff as well as canning, etc. Sorry I've been going to e-mail and keep getting sidetracked with the grandbabies.


Anonymous said...

You wear me out with all of your farm stuff - but I love reading about it!

I so wish I had had enough of SOMETHING to justify buying canning equipment. I may need to buy up apples in the fall, when they are in season, and make something apple-ish. =)

Did the corn relish come from corn in your garden?

Hope your ankle feels better! =)

Darcy said...

The corn relish looks so yummy! I'm just curious what all you use it on. I actually just had it for the first time this year. A friend brought it over for an appetizer with corn tortilla chips. I loved it!

Hope your ankle is feeling better.

Vickie said...

Oh Kansas you have worn me out just reading! I love your blog and the beautiful pictures! The corn relish looks good. I'm sorry to read about your horse Joey that is so sad. With this dial up it takes forever to bring up your blog but it's well worth it to see the pictures and the beauty of your area.

Take Care

jackie said...

A farmers work is never done. It just slows down to a 40 hour week in the winter.
I hope that your ankle feels better soon. That was probably one of the last things that you needed!

Kansas A said...

Hi Vickie...
In an effort to reduce load time I always reduce the file size of my pictures. But I had 20 posts per page showing and I've now reduced that to 10 so I hope that helps! Thanks for reminding me that not everyone is on highspeed! Let me know if it's better for ya :)

Mom said...

Hi Kansas...
Save some of that corn relish for me! :) It looks so good. Great picture!
You are going to wear yourself out. I hope your ankle feels better today.

Love Ya!

Dora Renee' Wilkerson said...

Another great post! I love that corn relish one.
Now about hay, I am going to start asking you tons of questions on this.
Right now we are looking at some land and I want to do our own hay. Of course you need equipement (rakes,tractors, baler, and all of that..) What would you recommend (that doesn't break the for like a small lot of 40 acres?
Anyway, I'll be writing you more (ok, asking more) about it once I know for sure we are getting this other place. I am just tring to ball park what we would have out for the equipment to do it.


Dora Renee' Wilkerson