Posted by: kathandroger | June 3, 2018

Spoiled Hay.

Our little flock of sheep need hay for the winter. After culling, we will only have the couple of ewes and Hercules the ram, oh, and Moins Dix the goat of course. But they do love their winter hay, and get through a bale or so every day. Until this year it has never been a problem; Manu,our local farmer and neighbour, makes some lovely stuff in May and I pick it up fresh and dry from the field on the trailer and stack it in the barn. But this year…disaster! We have had very unseasonal storms over the past fortnight, and in the few hours after the hay was baled and available for collection, we were in the middle of a weekend changeover in the gites and could not get there. Since then we have had daily rain and the little bales have become sodden and spoiled.IMG_3980
Manu reckoned that they may dry out in the barn if not stacked, but I fear we are beyond that now. Although the centre of the bales is still OK, there is mould on the top and dampness coming up from the bottom. I hope he can make some more for us before the grass is too old.

Having been burgled for the first time a few months ago, I thought we ought to hide Kaths’ car from the passers by on our little lane. A little enclosure was made in the big barn we now own, a task which may have been easy for a coal hewer used to using a pickaxe, but a real pain for myself. Digging holes in old and dry barn floors is not easy, and the words of self encouragement that it is good for my general fitness did not weigh well after the first few holes. But it is all done now and is reasonably straight, and gives us a space for the hay (if it ever arrives), as well as the 2CV.IMG_3981 The only snag so far is that Kath is not convinced that her precious machine will be better off there, and has hidden it in our neighbours’ garage!

All this rain has been a pain for the hay, but good for the garden. The broad beans sown last autumn have nearly all been picked, and the peas are the best we have had.IMG_3982 The other crop which has done well is the Globe Artichokes,IMG_3983 something I have had little experience of but of which Kath remembers as a pain to prepare when she was training on her cooking course in Paris. And she is right! I tried the simple way of just boiling the things and eating the flesh off the leaves. That is quick and effective, but not all that tasty. The proper way, peeling the leaves off, getting to the tender centre and shelling out the seeds, means that almost all the head is discarded and a tiny little heart is all that is left. Quite tasty but I am not sure it is worth the effort. The French will differ, and seem to love to take hours to prepare any sort of food. I will try to be a little more like them when I am covered in artichoke leaves!


  1. Bummer about the hay. Don’t waste it though. Use it on the garden.

    • Will do Susan, but at present the bales are too heavy to lift!

      • Then weld up a pair of forks and a couple of jockey wheels to fit the Slow Ferrari (BSC)…. and wheel them in!

        And with them in front of the shield wall…. no one will think of Kath’s little beasty being in there!

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