Last hay for winter

135 bales of hay for our cows
135 bales of hay for our cows. We’ve already fed this much by January. 

This past week I finally received in the last hay for the winter. I switched hay farmers this year because my new farmer would deliver the same hay, for the same price, as I was picking up hay from my old farmer. Since it takes an entire day to haul three loads of hay (51 bales), and we go through about 250 bales of hay per winter, that means it takes me 5 full days of hauling hay to get all the hay here. When the price is the same and I get 5 days of my time back, I switch.

Except that’s not how it worked out. Last year my new hay guy delivered like magic. All I had to do was send a text and hay was here the same day or at the latest the next. New equipment, nice people to deal with. It was all good. This year, the first few loads showed up, and then it stopped. And then things got flakey. He kept promising to call, but never did. Over and over again. He threw on a delivery charge when I finally receive the bill I’d requested a couple months before. A delivery charge I’d never paid before. It took several months to finally get one more load of hay and then things fell completely off the rails and he stopped responding completely. Not, “I’m sorry I can’t bring you more hay like a promised”, just stopped talking leaving me high and dry with promises broken. Sigh, I hate relying on other people.

Luckily, the old had farmer I had used for years had a SNAFU of his own and hadn’t sold any of the hay he normally reserved for me. The property owner (the actual land owner, I deal with the farmer who cuts his hay) called me about this time and asked why I hadn’t been by to pick up my hay this year. I explained that I’d told the farmer I needed it delivered and the farmer couldn’t do that, but if my normal allotment of hay was sitting there in his way, I’d come and get it. Since I had about four days of hay left at this point, this was an extremely lucky turn of events.

Three days of hauling hay later and we have the rest of the hay we need to get through the winter. Of course, I had plan B, and C, but I sure am glad it worked out that I was able to go back to my original hay farmer. I think next year I’ll keep him and just find time to haul hay.

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

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