As you can see in the accompanying pentaptych, we successfully harvested our first cut hay crop this week. The images show the field at the ready (early on Day 1), the field after being mowed (later on Day 1), the crop raked and ready for baling (Day 2), the crop in bales (Day 3), and the clean field with bales removed (today, Day 4). Looks easy. Well, it is … if the weather holds and if your equipment stays together – both of which are equally problematic and unpredictable. It is hard for me to describe the sense of relief felt when this big job is done. Our years’ supply of feed lay in the field – if something should go wrong sometime during the harvest, it’s a big deal. A very big deal. Truth be told, in nearly 20 years we have never lost a crop. That’s not to say we haven’t had our share of problems (sometimes significant ones) relating to both weather and equipment … but we have always prevailed. We used to harvest this crop in square bales, and this required that we bring help onto the farm for the final day of harvest. Round bales require less handling and the entire harvest can be carried out by just the two of us. As a final note, for those of you who have never experienced the olfactory joy of freshly baled grass hay … you’ve really, really, missed something.