Making hay around here has been pretty challenging lately.

The power take-off on the haybine broke while Prince Charming was cutting the hay. The haybine is the implement pulled by the tractor to cut the hay -- much like a lawn mower ... a really big lawn mower! The part was not in stock at any of the surrounding stores.

Prince Charming decided to continue the hay-making process with the hay that was already cut. He tedded the hay. This fluffs it up so that it can dry properly. That afternoon, it rained! Prince Charming asked it to stop. He even asked the prince to turn the rain off. The prince replied, "Daddy, you have to ask the Lord to turn the rain off." It rained some more. It stopped and rained again at 1:30 a.m. 

Have you ever heard the phrase "Make Hay While the Sun Shines"? It means to do something while the conditions are right. "Rain" is not any of the right conditions for haymaking. Wet hay can not be baled and used for animal fodder. One reason is that the moisture in wet-baled hay will cause the hay to rot and be toxic to cattle, if they will even eat it. The second reason is that those reactions produce heat that can lead to spontaneous combustion that can lead to losing a whole barn and its contents.

After a few days of more raking and raining, the hay was baled. The royal children and I spent a couple of hours helping get the hay out of the field and into the shelter of the barn. Our (really, my) responsibility was to drive the truck that pulled the wagon load of hay. Prince Charming's job was to load and unload the wagon with the tractor.

While the children and I passed the time, we started playing the Farm Alphabet. I made it up based on hearing about environmental alphabets. Environmental alphabets are helping your children spot the alphabet letters in their everyday surroundings -- store signs, newspaper print, food packaging, etc. Well, our Farm Alphabet isn't so simple. It is more of a scavenger hunt. You have to find the hidden letters on the farm. Can you see the "L" in this picture?

Here is a "J"
As we were unloading the last wagon of hay, the wagon broke.

We found another "V" -- Thanks Prince Charming.

After we get all of our letters found, we will make words, like...

H-O-T ... Which is what it was that day!

I'm loving this way of teaching my children to be observant of their surroundings. I'm linking to I'm Lovin' It.

The grass is green. It's good to be

date Friday, June 18, 2010

7 comments to “Farm Alphabet and Making Hay”

  1. Spesamor Academy
    June 18, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Very cool idea! I love it!!!

  1. Berry Patch
    June 18, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    I love this! We've done something a tad similar on our walks but we look for all the different letters of the alphabet in street signs and such. Considering I live in the middle of nowhere we sometimes have to get a bit creative. We only have so many signs to pick from! ;-)

  1. Queen Beverly
    June 18, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    We may have to get pretty creative before we are done. I'm not sure of where to find some letters.

  1. Rodna
    June 23, 2010 at 12:52 AM

    Love that idea!

  1. Beth in NC
    June 27, 2010 at 6:09 AM

    Yep, I knew what all of that meant ... the hay tedder, the round baler, etc ... Sorry about the wagon breaking. Yikes!

    Cute idea about finding letters in everyday things.

  1. Nikki
    June 28, 2010 at 10:05 PM

    This is too cute and your blog is too cute too:)

  1. JDaniel4's Mom
    July 3, 2010 at 6:07 AM

    This post has been selected as one of my great posts of the week. Here is the link to my post.

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