Friday, March 15, 2013


Mary O'Hara, author of My Friend Flicka, as well as Thunderhead, and Green Grass of Wyoming, felt it should all be one word.

It was that important to her family's ranch in Wyoming.

It is that important to farmers around here even today. The big guys, even if they don't pasture cows any more, want to get on the land and start cropping, Gotta grow enough for hundreds or even thousands of hungry cows before winter rolls around again, all too soon.

Our growing season isn't exactly long and a late spring frost or an early one in the fall can really mess things up. They are often out tearing up sod before we can even set foot on our clayey, boggy, north-facing ground. ('S okay...we get a pay off dry years when we have enough moisture while everyone else is begging for a pregnant cloud. And our maple sap runs late and clear, long after other sugar bushes have gone buddy and harsh.)

For the little guys like us, when it comes to greengrass, it's the pasture. We need to get cows out eating for themselves instead of having every bite bought and delivered.

The scramble for hay around this region is fiercer than ever this year. 

Rumors and tales abound of people buying up hay that was word-of-mouth contracted last fall or summer and leaving farmers searching the classifieds for feed. We are so lucky that our hay guy is a man of his word and held the hay we spoke to him about way last spring when greengrass showed up and we could stop buying round bales from him. He has even hung on to some he didn't promise to us, so we don't run short any sooner than need be.

Needless to say, when the grass finally gets up there and the cows can go outside, we will be talking to him again about hay for next winter...if we can hang on in this adverse business climate.....


Woodswalker said...

Wishing your a great season of greengrass. Your wonderful writing and photography keep me feeling closely connected to your animals and people, so I rejoice in your blessings.

Terry and Linda said...

Your hay guy is just like my husband...thank heaven's the word neighbor and 'keeping your word' still works for some folks! Too bad not others!


threecollie said...

WW, thanks! Hoping for plenty for a change. The past few years have been tough. And thanks for your kind words. I love this life even with all its challenges.

Linda, I shudder when I hear some of the stories. Some people have been really hurt this winter.