I am spending the summer working at a 1930’s living history farm in St. Charles, Illinois. This is my third week at the farm and while my intentions were to write more often my tired body and ideas of perfect posts stopped that. So, in order to get the ball rolling here is my start, not perfect and the body is still tired but I guess I’m getting stronger. I will say that these farm posts may not be interesting for anyone but me or those in Florida who wonder what I am up to but when I worry about that I don’t write so feel free to delete and I’ll feel free to write.
Today I hopped on the Ford tractor, same engine as the model T they tell me and runs like a charm. Now, this thing is cared for by a good farm mechanic but can you imagine a vehicle made today being put to work in 80 years? I love my 17-year-old Honda but no way. Anyway, the Ford started right up and off we went to turn some clover hay. It was cut on Friday and two days later needed to be flipped to help it dry out. I was pulling a hay turner which raked up all the cut clover and put it into long rows. The hay flipper had some trouble, it turns with the wheels and sometimes the wheel would slide along the ground rather than turn, finally I figured out this seemed to happen when we went over patches of unmown clover, I think it was too much work to rake through the uncut stuff so once I avoided these patches things worked pretty well. As I’m driving along I’m remembering the beautiful field of red clover this was a few days before and thinking of the Rats of NIMH – since this wasn’t a plow any critters living in this field should have been just fine I figured but for the beautiful red clover flowers all cut down I mourned a bit. Clover hay is a really good feed for the winter, around 18% protein and the honey bee’s were loving it before it was cut so overall I was happy it was planted and I was having fun with this nifty hay flipper. It was a beautiful day in the 80’s and while I was wearing a hat I am getting quite the farmer tan. Here is a picture of my finished field with the Ford in the middle, tomorrow someone will drive in the opposite direction and flip the hay again to dry out more before we bail it and store it in the barn for winter.