Saturday, August 5, 2017

how to build a Scandinavian haystack

  The day's are become shortening again. At 9 Pm we really need to lighten our lamps, and a view day's ago, when it was a really rainy day, we needed light far more early. The weather is a bit wet lately, a view days dry alternate with a couple of days really wet. It's not the best weather for hay making but we will make it do.
  A week ago, we decide to bring some hay into the barn. It was not a very bright day, but the sun was shining and only a view clouds where hanging on the horizon. So we prepared everything and went to get the horse, Vera. She likes to work and always she comes first at the gate, but not this day! We called but she would not come, Sander decide to go and get her, but when he almost could get her, she ran away. What is this, I thought! Is she playing with us? After 10min we get her and take her with us. I looked up to the sky and realized it was not so bright anymore, the view clouds hanging on the horizon, has grown fast and now almost covered the hole sky. Maybe the horse tried to tell us something, maybe we go to have rain.
"I remembered a day for more than ten years ago. Almost the same weather and I would go out and ride for a while. Vera had no sense to come and after I had saddled her she was really slowly and annoying. I decided then it was better to ride homewards and before I was home, it was a hail and thunderstorm. Then I knew she tried to tell me, it was not save to ride out, and I praised her when we were home again".
 I told to Sander were I was thinking about and give Vera the benefit of doubt, and brought her back on the field. You will believe it or not but just after 15 min it was raining! She knew it and lucky for us we listened!

With this rainy weather I'm happy that we have a methode of haymaking that has been proved since the middle ages. Always have and had farmers problems to get the hay from the fields. Before the tractors it was very labor intensive. The small farmer needed a methode to spread out the haymaking season. Not being so dependent on the weather. In almost every country they invented a type of haystack. The hay now needed a shorter time to dry on the fields and lay save till the day you would bring it into the barn.
We use the same type of haystack as they did in the time of 'Carl von Linné'. I made some pictures of it and describe how we're doing it.
 The grass mowed we the day for and the same day we're building the haystack. It was not nice weather so it is still very wet. Also is the grass very short what makes it not so easy to build. The best haystack you build with very long grass. On the picture above, Sander is digging the first hole for the first pole.
 We use always 10 poles to one stack. Around 1m metre apart the first two lean a bit outside, like \\, the six in the middle stand in zig saw and the last two lean out to the other side //. so it will look like \ \ | | | | | / /.

 Here I'm laying the first layer of hay/grass. We strung a wire about a 40-50cm from the ground. This is were the grass is hanging upon. Just fill it up with a 10 a 15 cm grass when it is wet, like it was this time. If the grass should have been more dry, I would lay maybe twice that much on it.
 First layer done. You can see that there is a opening on the front, as well on the back. It allows the wind to go trough, and will dry the hay.
 Making the next layer. A second wire is strung 10 to 15 cm above the grass layer. Fill it up like the first one. Make sure it is evenly spread and hangs in the right balance.

 Here I'm making the 4th layer, you can see how the wire twisted on the pole.
 Higher and higher!
And done! 5 layers of hay, will now dry 3 weeks on the field. Protected from rain and sunshine. The hay is drying without becoming brown. A nice green hay, rich of  nutrition. The animals will love it.  

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