Hay: It’s not only for horses!

Hay is never ending worry.  From May until October there is always a field of hay that is either going to seed and needs cut or is wet and losing its usefulness and it needs chopped, baled, tedded or reseeded. Or the baler breaks down or we run out of baler twine or somebody goes to get it and it’s the wrong kind.hay making equipment

Hay is used for feed and is hybrid grass or legumes.  It can be alfalfa, clover, timothy or simple orchard grass.   You’ve probably seen bales in the countryside in all shapes and sizes.  It can be baled in small squares, large squares or large rounds or made into silage and put in a silo or long tubes of plastic.  Alfalfa hay is high in calcium and potassium and is used for our dairy cows because it helps most in milk production.  Grass hay or hay that has been rained on and lost some of its quality can be fed to dry cows that aren’t being milked.

hay blossoms

The picture above shows alfalfa (purple blossom), clover (pink) and ladina (white).  It’s a pretty picture showing all three hay types in one field but it seldom happens that way.  Usually a field is all one variety.  None of the hay shown is premium because it is in blossom and is not tasty to cattle when its development is that far along.  The stems are tough and are to cows what a very overripe string bean would be like to us! The best time to make hay is when it is the bud stage and for the boys who are loading and unloading hay, a nice cool day is what they prefer.  They haven’t been so lucky lately with the thermometer almost hitting 90 degrees before evening, but we do all of this so our cows can stay comfy and contented and willing to provide us with lots of fresh nutritious milk.

. . .

We had a potluck at church today and I fixed a big bowl of macaroni salad with all the good things I like added:  hard boiled eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, canned tuna, celery, onion, parsley and chopped green olives.  Yum!

Maybe everybody doesn’t like macaroni salad loaded like that, so I also made some fruit pizza.  That was so easy.  At a family party recently, two of my granddaughters’ other grandmother (Nana) brought a different kind of fruit pizza than the more labor intensive kind I’m used to.  She is manager of a huge co-op and doesn’t have lots of time to spend in the kitchen.  She follows a smart rule where she never cooks or bakes anything that has more than three ingredients!

April’s Fruit Pizza

sugar cookie fruit pizzaSlice and bake a package of sugar cookies according to the package directions.  When they are cool spread some of the strawberry gel that you buy to mix with berries for strawberry pie.  Then decorate with fruit of your choice.

They are so much easier to make than in a large pan because there is no dough to spread, they’re easier to serve, and the filling squeezes out of a bag.  I learned the hard way though that they can’t be made too far ahead or the strawberry glaze is absorbed by the cookie and the cookie gets soft.

I used strawberries on most of them because we had a surprise visit from our neighbor and her two children, Adam and Leah, last night and she was thoughtful enough to bring us a quart of fresh picked strawberries from her garden.  Adams looks like he snitched a few!

Adam with a strawberry

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