See I have given you

every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth… Gen.1:29 NKJV

Closecroptrailerw_hay

Just as the horses’ and cow’s hay supply was dwindling, farmers were harvesting this summer’s crop of Bermuda. Hooking up the trailer, I drove to a 50-acre field and purchased fresh green squares certain to delight my crew.

Toyotaw_haycrop

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This God—his way is perfect

the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.  Ps 18:30 (NOAB)

For three days I cut grass with a push mower and delivered the cuttings to my farm pals: Sonny, Holly, Buff, Jack and Bebe.

Hay is scarce. Following droughts in neighboring states farmers and ranchers learning of available supplies in West Tennessee traveled with their trailers and hauled full loads back to their animals.

Following breakfast grain Bebe diness on hay

The local farm supply held out serving locals until there was no more.  Last weekend I found someone who had older rolls of mixed grass. Two rolls were delivered the next day. While it lacks that fresh, sweet scent my group is accustomed to at least the cattle will eat it with a sprinkling of green. Except for the edges it is too rough to feed the horses.

Jack eats Bermuda with breakfast

Buff washes up while standing in the morning sun

Yesterday I connected with the person who delivered nine square bales of Bermuda a week ago, and he brought us 15 squares.

We have hay. We have fuel. We have grain and chow for all of us. Everyone is in relatively good health.  And we have a safe place to sleep and good tenants for neighbors.

Life is good on the farm thanks to God’s grace.

With a whip and a snap yesterday’s storm dismounted

four rolls of hay

Chores completed I bathed then sat down in my chair with a book around noon yesterday. After what seemed like a few minutes waking I saw through the glass doors a steely sky and stood up.

While I snoozed to my amazement wind whipped, grommets snapped and four rolls of hay dislodged and dismounted from their placement. Rain was coming down soaking the outer layers of all seven rolls formerly protected and now exposed to the storm.

Makeshift cover

I pulled together every available tarp and did not return to the cabin until all were covered. It has been nearly a month since 17 rolls of hay were delivered and double-stacked. The four rolls that had been in standalone positions are all but gone.

With neither tractor nor spear I have been pondering how to tackle the large stack. Now I have another two months before addressing this issue. By then, perhaps another fortuitous event will occur—like the wind!

Rolls of hay protected

by a blue tarp

Improvised tie down

A large roll of hay lasts a week since the horses and cattle do not have any pasture on our new farm. For close to a year now the nutritional value of the hay we have been receiving has been minimal. Despite a reasonable price, the hay was a year old and had been left uncovered. In some cases, I had to remove half the outer hay to get to clean, dry layers.

Changing the animals feed to a higher quality grain to compensate for poor forage helped but was still insufficient nutrition. And at the end of each week I became anxious about where we were going to get the next roll of hay and what the quality would be. Each roll seemed to vary in the amount of waste.

Rolls of hay delivered

Through a gracious gift from friends Jimmie and Dee we received 21 rolls of freshly cut hay last week. Jimmie and Dee own a nearby farm where much of their land is in pasture. Without animals they just wanted the grass to be cut and hay not left in the fields which is what happened last year when a contractor cut and baled but never returned to collect it.

After a year with the hay left in the fields to rot, using a tractor but no spear Dee pushed the rolls off into outlying gullies and treed areas. Once again, it was Rev. Jim, their minister and mine, who put us together. For arranging to have their grass cut, baled and hauled, I could keep whatever percentage the new contractor would agree to share and deliver.

Grass cutting on Jimmie and Dee's farm

It took me a couple of months to get someone to do the work. Yet, in the end, 67 rolls were baled, and we received 21 rolls which will last us through November. More than likely there will be another cutting this summer.

Relief, joy, grace and hay abound.

Hay bale released