The hay was cut on Wednesday. By this morning, it was ready for raking and baling. To be entirely honest, I was not entirely prepared for exactly what kind of undertaking this would be.
After years and years of growing up on a farm – I’ve seen harvests happen in a number of ways. Never, though, have I been quite this up close to it.
Aaron and I ran into Kansas City to take care of a bit of his real estate work and pick up a few groceries. By the time we returned in the early afternoon, dad and Duane had raked and baled the entire front pasture – about 5 acres.
Aaron was quick to jump on a tractor and keep the raking going. Dad pulled into the driveway with Chris shortly after we’d arrived at home. He took the baler to the back pasture to start in on the next phase – another 6 acres. It wasn’t long before Taylor, Rhett and Tanner pulled into the driveway and – like that – it was a family affair.
We took a small break for pizza, then loaded up in the side by side and went back to the field. Once again, I was grateful that the farm brought us all together for a meal.
As the sun began to set, problems with the baler started to drag things out. When the first field fell together so easily, it was odd that this one was taking so long. We watched as the hydraulic lines burst. Dad ran to pick up new ones. Then, the gate opened and closed with unstrung bales falling out into the pasture. Dad would cuss. Chris would unroll the bales with the truck to start again.
Dark creeped over the pasture as the very last bale was wrapped up around 10 p.m. It wasn’t the long, tiring day they’d expected – but it was the long, tiring day we all got.
Still – there was tons of pride in seeing the farm do its thing. I couldn’t be happier that this place has given us all a space to come together for a project just like this. Genuinely, I have so much gratitude for the land and the amazing family and friends we have to help us with it.
Staring across the bare pastures tonight, I am in complete awe. We could never have done this ourselves. Try as we might, it wouldn’t have worked this way. Only with dad, Duane, Chris, Taylor, Aaron and myself together would we have gotten through our very first harvest. And – what’s more – how amazing that our kids got to be a part of it. It’s incredible to me that something so critical to the farm and its future has come together in this way.