I spent the bulk of last week and part of this week in the hay fields, cutting and baling approximately 8 acres of hay we have here on our farm. I cleaned out the barn and got it all ready to store what I had hoped would be over 400 bales of hay.
The forecasted rain cleared away (or so I thought), so I raked the hay into windrows and the sun dried it out nicely. I use an ancient 1955 Oliver baler that I picked up last spring, and it works pretty well. But there's definitely a learning curve to running this mass of rust, and this year the knotter decided not to knot every bale. That was fun hand-tying knots, but I did get it working again.
We baled until the nighttime dew started to set in, and were able to put up about 250 bales of hay in the barn. Then over the rest of the week, the rain came in. I did the best I could to rake the wet hay in the fields. But unfortunately, with this old antique equipment I'm using, I just couldn't get it dried out fast enough again to salvage it in time. But I did finish clearing it off the fields, and have some plans to use it in other ways, so it won't be a total loss. It was hard to lose all that hay, but this is real life. We live and we learn and we persevere.
Here in Michigan we are enjoying a wetter, rainier June than we are used to, and while it may have ruined a portion of our hay harvest, I've been very thankful I haven't had to haul water back to the new pumpkin patch yet. The potatoes and onions are enjoying the new pallet raised bed, and the rest of the kitchen garden is growing great. We are already eating the strawberries, and we just harvested the radishes yesterday. And it's almost time to build the invisible trellis for our tomato plants.
When we moved out to this farm, one of our goals has always been to raise dairy goats. We currently have a herd of 9 Nigerian dwarf goats and, this week, the first of six pregnant does gave birth to triplets. With eggs continuously hatching in the incubator, ducklings hatching from their nest in the bushes, and piglets growing in the barn, new life is abundant around here these days and so is the work.
This past week our new church we helped to plant held its first vacation Bible school. My wife and daughters and I spent the evenings this week helping to share the message of hope and redemption through Jesus Christ with over 60 children. It was AWESOME. If you ever have a chance to help at a VBS or in the children's ministry, I'd highly suggest it. I may have had to wear a blue wig and dance on stage, amongst other humbling things this week, but it's nothing compared to what Jesus did for us on the cross. He is worth it and so are the kids.
Until next week, have a good one!
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16