Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bales of Hay, or Not

As I think I've mentioned before, Grandpa Gilpin had a farm.

When I was a kid, my brothers, sister and I thought the farm was the greatest place on earth. We were small town kids wishing we could live on a farm too. Everything about the place was magical. The cows, the cats, the fields and forests. We even thought the chores were cool!

One of the events we looked forward to every year was hay baling time. Grandpa would cut the hay, wait a day or two, then turn it over with a big, tractor-pulled rake, then turn it over again to get it as dry as possible. If all went well, we would then go out to bale it. Grandpa would hook up the baler to the tractor, and a wagon to the baler. When everything was ready, my dad, my brothers and my uncle Dave, (just a year older than me) would climb on the wagon and off we would go.

Grandpa would drive along the rows letting the baler munch up the fresh-cut hay, and we would wait on the wagon while the baler pushed rectangles of hay out the back for us to grab and stack on the wagon.

Grandpa's bales were proper bales, perfectly sized for a person to pick up and stack. So when I see these gigantic roles of hay as shown here I also think that they did it wrong. I can't imagine what we would have done if Grandpa made these enormous things. I've never met anyone who worked on a farm that produced these kind of bales. What did the kids do?