Almost everyone calls it "hay," but here on the Grinter farm, it is always "straw."
We have no livestock, and no need for hay. But, we do grow some wheat from time to time.
Luckily, for my children, this year was not a "wheat year."
If we plant wheat, then we (and I use the term "we" very loosely) usually put up a barn full of straw. We sell it to various people that need it for things like animal bedding and to companies that need it for landscaping. But it means a lot of hard work.
These pictures were taken last July, when we had some straw to put up.
This is after the wheat has been harvested, the "chaff" has been spit out of the backside of the combine, and then picked up by the baler that turns it into these nice little wire-tied "idiot blocks" (as farmer Ted calls them). This is Callie. She was 11 at the time, and was able to stack them 3 high in the barn! Did I leave out the part where it is 100 something degrees up in the barn, with no breeze? It's miserable work.
Heave ho, Callie-o!
Ted looks hot. He also looks sweaty. Poor baby! He brought this on himself.
The girls stay busy between stacking just keeping the barn floor clean. Straw is always falling out of the bales making the floor slick to walk on. We can't have that! Sweep and pitch, girls!
This is Sid, 14 at the time. It was her job to drive the truck with the loader through the field. The loader picks up the bales and then our hard working hired teenage boy crew stack the bales onto the truck. If you just mention "teen boy crew," Sid is suddenly very work oriented.
Speaking of hard working..this is farm-hand Bryson. He is our neighbor and a great kid to have around. He's 14 in this picture, but has always been at the ready (since he was itty bitty) to dive into any kind of hard farm work we could throw at him. We would take a dozen more of him...but they're hard to find.