|The traditional hay stack or "palanca" we finished last friday|
|Starting to cut four acres of meadows with a strimmer!|
In previous years we had cut our meadows using a friend’s alum scythe but we knew this year this machine would not be available. We had tried to buy a second-hand alum scythe with out success so we had the daunting prospects of cutting all the meadows by hand using our strimmer fitted out with a special blade for hay.
The plan was to cut four acres of meadows in two days and have the stimmer working non stop each day! We divided the work between three of us; myself, Sebastian our son and Andres who normally works in the kitchen. We took it in turns with each person cutting for an hour; the strimmer didn’t stop working during nine hot hours each day and we didn’t get too tired.
|The tractor baling the hay|
Once the cutting was finished, the grass had to be turned twice to help with its drying and then moved by hand from the high rocky areas of the farm to the lower flatter area where a tractor could enter to bale the hay.
|96 bales of beautiful hay!|
We started cutting on the Monday and by Saturday morning all the hay was dried and placed in lines ready for the tractor to bale it. By mid day we had 96 bales of beautiful hay! On Monday morning our neighbour Juanra came with his tractor and took the bales to the stable ready for the sheep to eat during the winter months.
But the grass kept growing and it was obvious that this year the sheep and horses were not going to be able to eat all the grass before it started to lodge and spoil. So a week latter we decided to cut another meadow and this time make a traditional hay stack. By now we were experiencing a heat wave and the grass dried within two days of cutting.
|Compressing the grass in the stack by standing on it.|
|Combing the grass to help make the stack with stand the rain|
So last Friday we finished our hay stack which is now proudly standing in the meadow close to the entrance of the hotel.
|The sheep last winter enjoying the previous season's hay.|