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Geting ready

It is that time of year again, hay making. Tomorrow  our newly acquired rented fields, 7 kms from our farm will be cut. The weather has been good unlike the forecast on the Internet which is changing daily from dry sunny days to  isolated thunder storms and showers.

So farmer J and his haymaking partner have decided to bite the bullet and start cutting. A few days of dry weather are needed in order to cut it,turn it over to dry a couple of times, line it up ready to bale.

New machinery has been brought a second hand baler, which has been tested to see if it works before it is needed by lining up straw in front of the hanger a few times enabling enough to be fed in to make a bale.

I am so glad I don't have to take part in making those small rectangle bales anymore, although an idyllic country scene pictures in your mind of working with friends following the tractor and  baler, stacking the bales ready to be put on the trailer and then all throwing them up to the stacker on the trailer it is not one that sticks in my mind. It has to be a hot day, sweaty dusty and scratchy from the hay your arms and legs end up raw,not to mention your hands hurting from the bailing twine. Being on a time restraint to get the hay in before it rains you then have to get it off the trailer to stack it in the hanger. The only conciliation was a cold beer once the last bale had been stacked. No far better to make sandwiches and a flask and wave to farmer J as he heads off down the drive


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Demounting a hanger

Farmer J has brought a second hand hanger. It's an extension to be added on to the farms hanger which  up to last year housed the cows in 2/3rds and hay in the other 1/3. As we now have more cattle and calves the hay space is being converted to house the cattle giving them full access to it.
Only thing is the extension has to be dismantled (and erected when planning permission is granted).

He managed to take down the road crash barriers on the side of it but need my gophering skills today to start taking off the roof. Cold, foggy and damp it was a bit chilly standing around however we did have a visitor, a old lady hunt dog. Once fed and watered (doesn't everyone carry dog food in their car or is it just me?) she found a draught free spot between the hay bales to have a sleep before being called back to her hunter once hunting had finished.

So a 1/3 of the roof is down with the rest to be completed on Monday ready for the metal structure to follow.

Laguepie chestnut fair

Yesturday was he annual chestnut fair at Laguepie, a small village in the Tarn et Garonne. The sun shone which made for an enjoyable time amberling round the market stalls, drinking coffee and eating hot chestnuts. Traditional dances and muscicians put on a display. In previous years there has been a mushroom display showing edible, toxic and fatal fungi in appropriate coloured boxes of green , red and black (leathel ones). I imagine no mushrooms could be found as it has been dry here for a while.

The many varieties of apples grown locally along with walnuts and chestnuts were laid out on tressel tables, so many different types of apples were displayed. As well as chestnuts for sale there was apple juice being made, which at this time of year many villages and organisations invite you to take your non treated apples along to have them pressed into juice for a small fee. We didn't stay for the set menu lunch, each course is chestnut based so you really have to love your chestnuts.