Friday our neighbor baled our hay, and it was then our job to bring it to the barn from our hayfield. I drove the truck.I had to keep an eye on my husband and son through the rear-view mirrors to make sure I wasn't driving too fast or too slowly. They walked through the field, picked up the bales off the field and tossed it onto the pickup truck bed, and then my daughter stacked it in for the 1/4 mile trip to the barn. It took three trips to get the 85 bales from our field to our barn, where my husband unloaded, and the two kids stacked the hay.
And where do we get all this energy? Good farm cooking! For breakfast, we had open-faced omelets made with 100% home-grown ingredients: eggs, goat milk, goat cheese, and green onions! Delicious!
The price of hay is skyrocketing this year, so we're happy to have 85 bales from our own field. Between the price of corn and diesel, hay prices have doubled or tripled in the past year. The cost of diesel to operate machinery has obviously made it more expensive to bale hay, but the more unknown part of the equation is that corn prices have skyrocketed making it more profitable for farmers to grow corn, and thereby creating a hay shortage. So, anyone who grows hay can pretty much name their price. Last year, it was $3 per bale. This year it's $5 to $9, depending on who you're talking to. And it sounds like Illinois has the lowest hay prices in the country. We're hearing about $15-20 a bale in Texas and $20-30 a bale out west.
Being able to produce your own hay has become a vital part of being self-sufficient. Mike has purchased a scythe so we can start to harvest hay from more of our 32 acres that are inaccessible to modern haying equipment. I'll be writing about that soon!