There’s so many things to like about bringing in the hay. Especially when you have to watch from the sidelines like I have. It means summer’s almost here, and I feel part of an ancient tradition, and we now have feed for our two sheep to last through winter.

Wildflowers Blanket the Valley

The spring pasture is so beautiful full of flowers and when I first came to the valley I didn’t want to even pick them, until I saw the locals cutting them down for hay. Now I always have a bouquet in the house, and we see the visitors to the Valley wandering along the side of the road with big bunches they’ve picked.

Our First Time

This is our first time cutting hay for winter, so it’s been interesting to watch the process.

Sam and our friend have been out cutting, raking and stacking the hay in neat rows over the past few days. Then we needed at least three days without any rain for it to dry.

I see how much the crops rely on the weather conditions, and why the saying ‘make hay while the sun shines’ is so relevant here.

So we all headed to our neighbors house to ‘bring in the hay’ and it was great fun.

Chugging along on our old blue tractor we headed for the neighbors (being super careful not to break their beautiful Cecile Brunner rose which is in full bloom).

Our neighbors (and the owners of the land with all the hay) came out to watch.

The sun was shining, chickens clucking about and our neighbors children playing in the stacks of hay…. just idyllic.

Three Generations

Luca was keen to join in with the men and he’s changed so much this year. Getting taller, voice deepening and a little bit of teenage attitude to boot.

We had three generations out in the field with Luca, Sam and his dad Carlo. I bet when Carlo left Italy for an unknown life in Australia all those years ago he never dreamed that he’d be back raking hay in Italy with his grandson!

Once the hay was pitchforked onto the tractor we all headed to the other end of the Borgata where Claudio and his son Paulo were waiting with the baling machine.

It reminded me of those ‘play doh’ toys Luca loved as a child where you put the play doh in one end and it comes out all neat and packaged the other end.

The best part about living here in our Borgata is the sense of community and how willing we all are to help each other out. With only ten adults and six children living here year round we’re a tight little group that depends on each other.

So we got 12 bales of hay, and did I mention our girl sheep is pregnant and expecting to deliver in the next week or so (according to our very wise Italian neighbor Claudio).

I can’t wait to see lambs born here in Malpertus!