Tuesday, July 27, 2010


On the way to Logan, Utah last Saturday

we took the scenic route through the Cache Valley.  Farmers there were finishing up their first cutting of hay.  It was a beautiful sight for a transplanted farm girl--

who got her tan on an old ford tractor without a cab. It pulled a hay rake all day across wonderfully scented, fresh cut alfalfa.  A person could sing as loud as they wanted and would only scare a few birds and mice. 

At that time, decades ago, most hay was harvested into fifty to eighty pound bales--just the right size to be handled by young men working to build up muscles for the football season.

Like most farmers now, the Cache Valley growers were packing their hay into much larger bales meant to be moved about by fork lifts.

We saw lots of round bales--

and plenty of the big block bales all ready to be gathered in; either for sale or to be stored for cattle feed.

In a few places the bales were cleared.  There the shaved fields were getting a shower from sprinkler irrigation.  This area doesn't receive enough rain to keep crops alive.  It would be a desert without the help of irrigation from canals and wells.


Kilauea Poetry said...

Lovely fields of hay! Times change huh? I never see this type of thing on a little rock out in the Pacific (lol)- this is nice!

DayPhoto said...

We call the large sqare bales 'loafs' and the big round ones 'curlers' :) We still make the smalle 60-80 pound bales. And we have a large niche market because small farmers don't like the huge ton bales.

I enjoyed your hay post. But then again you knew I would.


Sarah said...

It is so interesting to see glimpses of local life from around the world-one of my favourite things about blogging. All this looks very similar to some rural areas of the uk-though we don't need the irrigation like you do.
Thanks for the encouragement on my new plan-I send the same back to you! Well done on losing those pounds!

TALON said...

Your photography is beautiful! That last photo - with the irrigation flowing - it's magical looking with the hills beyond. It brings back childhood memories - I grew up in the country.

Lovely to meet you, Leenie. I'm glad you de-lurked :)

Linda Sue said...

Everytime I see bales- memories flood- especially the day my girlfriend lost her finger in the wire while chucking bales into the flatbed...
So, yeah, it smells great- it looks pastoral and beautiful but there be BLOOD!

Elizabeth said...

Farming has changed quite a lot.
Never knew that about the young guys toting bales to bulk up
makes sense though........

Carla said...

I have never seen big block bales before.
Round bales in a field is one of my favorite sights. I don't even know why.

Anonymous said...

As you can imagine many parts of Australia's agricultural industry would be lost without irrigation also. I always enjoy seeing bales of hay like this, and to hear about your adventures and journey.The tv series "Farmer Wants a Wife" has started here now, and most of the farmers prove that hard physical work has made them not too hard on the eye at all!. Here it is the tyranny of distance that keeps them from finding romance. Guess they too, wouldn't mind building up muscles for the football season, if only there were enough in the vicintiy to make up a team!

susan m hinckley said...

You're making me homesick . . . hardly a place on earth more beautiful! Thanks for the pics.