Hay, hand baling and cutting

Rankin, IL(Zone 5a)

Not sure if I am in the right place, but it's farm talk..

We allowed the clover/grass field to grow to baling length. We have goats so are not in need of "perfect" hay, but it seems we ended up with some really nice looking stuff.

We have no cutting or baling equipment and are raising animals for their fiber.. so all is being done on a shoestring..
Dh is in the automotive business so has spent most of this year laid off.. part blessing, large financial headache. But he has been along side me learning and daydreaming up new plans everyday.

Ok so with all that.. we HAD to bring in the hay. We tried to make a sickle.. ever seen a hedge trimmer strapped to a rolling hose holder.. LOL epic failure.
Finally a neighbor came and cut it for us.. to be neighborly.. we had never met him.. just stopped by. The only advice he had was to let it sit for three days. During that 3 days, Dh made a small box baler.. with a storm looming we panicked.. spent 4 hours in 105* heat and moved it all to a pile ontop of pallets and covered it with a giant tarp we just happend to have..

Dh still wants to go back and bale... Now that we have moved all that hay.. it will take him until 2012 to finish.. and I hear we can get 2 more cuttings this year. Not sure where we will put more, this cut yeilded us a 6 foot tall under a 50'x30 tarp

So questions... anyone got any ideas how we can cut this stuff...(next time)

Oh.. and it was a great day spent with the family.. doing some major hard work, but knowing what we were doing and why.. it wasn't fun (well there was a few laughs) but it was satisfying!

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