Sunday, September 06, 2015

Haying in the Lake District, UK

Reading James Rebanks "A Shepherd's Life".  

Rebanks' family liveds in the Lake District, mostly raising sheep on the "fells" (mountains).  I'm halfway through and enjoying it. What struck was his description of haying in the fields on the valley floors, particularly one year when it rained so much the hay was entirely ruined.  Any dairy farmer in the Northeast could  feel the pain.

But apparently English hay is more productive than upstate NY hay, or else the humidity in summer is a lot worse.  He writes of having to "turn" the hay two or three times to ensure proper drying.  That seems a lot, though I have to admit our hay fields were not the best.  But I hired out a couple summers and didn't see any hay fields much more productive.  

At another point--he writes as if the farm is on the smallish side, but also mentions "thousands" of bales of hay.

It's almost always interesting to read about the lives of farmers in other places. 

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