Before Joe left for Virginia, one of the chores we needed to get out of the way was driving over to Larry's to pick up our first load of hay for the winter.
We met Larry about 10 years ago and have been fortunate enough to have become personal friends as well as his customers.
We'll use about 185 bales between now and April. There's no point in not buying our full amount in hopes that the house will sell and thereby chancing that the horses won't have enough hay to get them through the winter.
Larry's hay is always sold out by late winter, but with the drought in Texas and North Louisiana, he'll be selling every bale sooner than normal. We don't want to take advantage of his friendship by asking him to hold hay for us, so it's best to just bite the bullet and fill up the hay stall as if we'll be here all winter.
When Joe and I were newlyweds, the old guy who rented the place next door to us taught me how to drive his hay raker and I helped him a few times in the fields. We were just cutting pastures and turning long weedy grass into hay; Larry's hay however is a whole different ballgame!
No horses or cattle graze in these fields; the land is managed strictly for hay production. There's a lot of testing, analyzing, fertilizing, irrigating etc that goes into producing a top quality bale!
We were able to pick up this first load out in the field. I'm using the royal "we" here since I just drove the truck and trailer along and Joe did all of the loading.
Picking them up in the field as opposed to the storage barns saves fifty cents per bale.... it's $5.00/bale out there, but I can't help load since I'm driving. A shame isn't it?! :)
Now that we aren't as young as we once were, we space out our purchases over several weeks and three loads so that the old muscles can recover! Joe does the bulk of the work even when we unload at home and I'm amazed and grateful for his ability to still throw them up and stack seven bales high.