Hay and straw. Now we have a reasonable supply.
Around here this is the season for haying and everyone is getting rid of last year’s stock trying to free up space in their barns. We WANT last year’s hay and straw, we have a lot of projects that benefit from it and since we are in the soil building stage every we grab every bit of extra nutrient we can.
We decided to store it under cover and although our chicken area wasn’t designed with this in mind we have it filled with year old hay and straw. Once again we moved things twice instead of once. (This is my newest pet peeve.) After we had loaded 48 bales of hay we got word that our organic dairy friends down the way were unloading last year’s 500lb bales so we moved the hay down the line and added 8 big bales.
Not only are they awesome people, it is a joy to be able to talk about soil biology and pasture health with someone who is interested in it too (and doesn’t just roll their eyes). LeFemme even got to bottle feed a calf.
Unloading was easier using the tractor. Last year we did it by hand.
…but it was a tight fit.
After breaking a bale trying to grab it from the narrow end I got smart and used a chain to get it into position.
Double wide stack of hay closer and 8 big bales of barley straw farther away.
Now we have a handy pile to use for carbon in our compost and mulch for plant beds. Tidy and dry. My daughter suggested that she could sleep on the fluffy pile but it is a 6 foot drop if she were to roll off. Besides, this is organic hay and straw so there are the occasional thistles and sticker vines to make things interesting.