Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day lilies blooming in July

Some things just happen, like day lilies blooming in July. I don’t weed the day lilies; I don’t water them. But they come up year after year and bloom ferociously, each flower open for only a single day.

Some farm activities are like that. The grass grows, the alfalfa blossoms, the rains come and the sun shines – all without my help. But most of the rest of farming takes work and planning on our part. This year, the exception has been finding strong bodies to help with baling.

Over the years, we’ve taught dozens of young people how to bale hay. First they learn to stand on a moving hay wagon without falling. Next they learn to use a hay hook to pull the bales off the baler and onto the wagon. Finally, they learn to stack the bales in alternating layers on the wagon. We pay them for their work, and they work hard. Everyone is glad when we finish baling.

For the past few years, our balers have been young Somali men, high school and junior high students. When the hay is cut and the sun shines, we begin to get calls “Are you baling today?” They’re willing, eager to work, and appear, just like day lilies blooming in July. It’s nice to have things just happen.

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