This week, the farm got a delivery of hay, straight from the hay fields! Our neighbors on the mountain, the Willards, took their hay wagons direct to our farm to restock our hay stalls. Of course, our horses watch this process with stomachs growling in anticipation, but hay isn’t just for horses! Our goats, cows and chickens all are fellow connoisseurs of hay, too. The importance of hay on our farm doesn’t stop there, however.
Most significantly, quite a few bales (about 60) go into making our hay playground. The adjoining stalls in our upper field are stacked with hay for our Head Start friends to play on. Jumping off the tall bales, somersaulting through the lower levels, and swinging from side to side on ropes, the kids have a blast in this area. Recently, we really improved this space by having the Head Start friends climb up a ramp and through a window to get inside, and to leave, they climb through a different window and slide back down to the ground. Another fun element of this space is the fact that our cows and horses often stick their heads through the window to greet the children!
Hay bales are also employed for our hay bale pully. This team-building exercise shows kids that when you can’t do something (like lift a hay bale) on your own, asking a friend to help can make all the difference. To add some challenge to the task, we sometimes put a child atop the hay bale as someone attempts to lift it off the ground! Our latest batch of hay has so much life ahead of it, aside from its ultimate purpose as food for our animals. Until that meal, hay on the farm is prime napping spot for Scratch the cat, a place to lay eggs for our chickens, a playground for our Head Start friends, and more!