Thursday, 10 July 2008

Our annual hay stack

For the last 5 years we have made a traditional Asturian hay stack (known as a “palancar” or “bala de hierba”) with some of the hay we cut from our meadows, and this year was no different.
First the hay has to cut and dried, and collected close to where the hay stack is to be made.
The long post has to be prepared, in this case from a eucalyptus tree at the top of the farm and taken to where the stack is to be built.

The post has to be dug in about 1 meter in the ground and then raised.

You can see the piles of hay ready here and last years stack in the background. A wooden base is prepared (to allow air circulation under the hay) before the hay is slowly placed around the post.
The hay is compressed down by standing on it as it is placed around the post. There is a rope attached to the top of the post which is used by the person on the top for holding on.

The sides of the stack are raked to try and keep it in shape and line the strands of hay in the same direction pointing downwards so the stack is more water resistant. The hay is lifted/thrown to the top of the stack with a pitch fork.

The finished product; tired workers and food for the sheep in the winter months!

1 comment:

Ian and Luis said...

What can I say...Innate talent shines through ...well done.


Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.