Saturday, 3 November 2012

Helping with the harvest.

Every winter, we have to give our sheep and donkeys lots of hay to eat. We buy some of it, but we try to use some of our own grass to make some too. It is ever so very hard work. 

First, Daddy uses a mower on the back of the tractor to cut the long grass. He has to do this when the weather forecast says it will be warm and dry because the grass has to lie on the ground to dry out for a few days. If it rains, the grass will rot and the animals won't be able to eat it.
Next, Daddy has to ted it, that means turn it over so that it dries all through. Then it is rowed up so that it is in rows that are parallel (that means the same distance apart all the way along) and the right distance apart for the baler to pick it up without wasting any. A friend comes to bale it, cos we don't have a baler.

You can see from the photos that, last year, the bales were big, round ones. They are very heavy. Me and Spot, my own dog, tried to help push the bales, but they were too heavy. 

We had to take a rest and I was very glad of my special 'keep-the-sweat-out-of-my-eyes hankie. Can you see the little mouse that lives in my trouser pocket? He came to sit on my lap whilst we took a breather.

Next, we climbed up to the very top of the bale to look at the scenery. Oooh! It was ever so high. Come on, Spot! You can make it!

There! Time for a look around. I was so pleased to have my new pet dog. Every bear should have a pet and Spot is great fun to be with.

Look how tiny we seem on top of the big bale. No wonder we couldn't move it. Mammy says we shouldn't have tried because the bales are so very big and heavy that they can squash a big person flat, never mind a small bear and even smaller dog. We were only trying to help, though.

A few days later, a big machine came and wrapped each bale in black plastic. Daddy would have prefered to let the grass dry even longer so it would have turned into hay, as we usually do, but the weather wasn't going to be dry for long enough so it had to be baled and wrapped whilst still a little damp which means it would be turned into haylage. I wasn't allowed in the field then, incase I got wrapped by mistake, so there aren't any photos.

After we tried to help, I was allowed to ride one of the sheep down to the vegetable garden to help some more.

Which would have been fine if I hadn't looked down and felt dizzy ...

But Spot and I sat up on a patch of clover and then the ewe came to say sorry that we'd fallen.  We soon felt better.

It was a real relief to get back to the garden though.

This year, we haven't had a proper spring or summer. It has been cold and rained and rained and rained ......So nothing grew well. Our potatoes were rotten, our strawberries and tomatoes are still hard and green - even though it is November now - the apples are so sour that not even the donkeys like them and the grass didn't grow enough to make hay. Now our fields and garden are water-logged. So I had to show you photos from last year.

Here's to a better summer next year!


  1. Oh Trumble! What an adventure! The photos are really lovely and your friend Spot looks like good fun to be with. I am so sorry that this year's harvest has been so poor. There has been some terrible weather and floods this year, lets hope for beautiful, perfect weather in 2013.

  2. Hello Trumble. That looked like a great big adventure, even if it really was last year. Hasn't it been WET! I'm glad I got to go to India, 'cos it was hot and sunny and that buoyed us up for the rest of the year.
    I'm not sure which was bravest, sitting on the bale or riding the ewe, it's up to ewe to decide HA, HA! I like your mouse and your doggy friend too.