Woes of baling hay

On Thursday afternoon I was running down Oblong road and passed a field where I knew Topher was baling hay.  I noticed that the tractor was stopped, and saw Topher looking at the baler from behind.  It isn’t unusual to have to stop a piece of haying equipment and get off – either to check out the hay, or examine an issue with the equipment, so I just kept on running past.  About 25 minutes later on my way back down the road I saw that the tractor and baler were stopped again.  I entered the field to look at the hay, figuring I would run through it, just making sure everyone and everything was okay.  I spent a couple minutes looking at the hay, and noticed that the tractor still hadn’t moved.  I also couldn’t see Topher.  I walked over to where the equipment was, and in between the tractor and the baler I saw Toper laying on a big pile of hay – he looked up at me and smiled.  That kind of smile that says, oy vey, look at this mess!  The baler was badly clogged and he had been pulling the damp baleage out by hand. There had been a bale that didn’t wrap well, so he spit it back out of the baler and spread it out with hopes of baling it again.  Unfortunately when he picked it up the second time, it got jammed in the baler so tightly that it wouldn’t spin.  Mary was in the field too – loading the baled that were already made onto a trailer in order to take to the bale yard and be wrapped.  She came over and the three of us spent 45 minutes pulling the grass out.  Occasionally you could yank out a big clump, but mostly we were pulling small handfuls, or worse, just a few blades at a time.  

Finally, after lots of pulling from underneath, Mary had the idea to climb in the baler and pull it out from the other side.  It was a bit more productive from that end, so Topher joined her.  We finished just in time to grab some good food from the potluck and then Topher, Mary and Eric finished hauling and wrapped the bales.  Pulling out the grass with them made me think about how important team work is for morale – not to mention efficiency.  The crew at Cricket Creek has a strong sense of teamwork, and I feel grateful for that.