It’s hay harvesting season here on Shady Place Farm! It’s always a much -anticipated time on the farm as hay is a major source of nutrition for our cattle as well as a crop we sell for other customers’ animals to enjoy. Hay harvest season typically runs from May through October, depending on weather conditions. It’s a HUGE and important farming process.
But each hay harvesting season starts off with a solemn pause of reflection as each family member remembers our patriarch, Don Morgan, and our matriarch, Arlene Morgan. Don absolutely loved putting up alfalfa hay! He loved sitting in the tractor seat raking, fluffing, and baling. He always was watching the weather, checking the fields for growth or needs the alfalfa might have, and thinking and discussing with Neal and the family when it was time to start the harvest in this or that field. And in days past, he would drive the big trucks so that Neal and the boys could load the square bales from the field onto the truck bed by hand as they either came off the hay loader or were tossed up and onto the truck bed.
Arlene also loved being outside as often as possible. She would bring refreshments to our family in the fields and very frequently would assume her position behind the steering wheel of one of those big trucks driving slowly and carefully as her son and grandsons, and sometimes hired help, were throwing up hay bales and stacking them on the moving platform. And she somehow managed to keep Don’s overalls clean, the farm accounting books kept current, and three meals a day hot and ready on the table!
So many tales would be recounted of hay mishaps or equipment failures or stories of rushing to beat the raindrops with “all hands on deck” working at break-neck speeds (or should I say “break-back speeds”?) pushing the equipment and the people to their limits to get the hay harvested and in the dry. But afterwards there was always satisfaction and smiles, dusty, dirty faces and tired bodies, and thankfulness in our hearts to Jesus for another hay crop safely in the barn.
Time marches on and so does technology, even in farming. Hay harvesting looks a little different now than when Don and Arlene were with us. But we like to think that they would be proud that we are still taking care of the farm and harvesting the alfalfa. Thank you, Don and Arlene, or otherwise known as, Papa Don and Nana, for leaving us not only the hard-earned fruits of your labor, but also, a legacy and heritage that will live on for generations, the Good Lord willing.