For the Love of Hay

article image

Now that hay season is over (for most of us) and the fields are spent, it’s time to reflect on what the fields had to offer. Did our plowing, tilling, seeding, fertilizer, and hard work pay off? The proof, of course, is in the hay. Is it tender, filled with tasseled grasses, and nutrient-dense? We always hope so.

If you own animals and live in the snow belt, you know that squirreling away hay for the winter is important. If you wait too long, you may not be able to purchase quality hay from your local neighbor, or, if you’re a farmer, you’ll miss the “cutting” season — the opportunity to cut good hay before the weeds take over. It’s all in the timing, and it’s of the utmost importance to feed your winter herd.

If you are looking for quality hay in your area, there are plenty of hay brokers who can help you find it. Don’t wait. The Farmer’s Almanac indicates a hard winter. Be prepared.

Hay — sustenance for animals, hard work for farmers, a muse for writing. October has a lot to offer, including hay stashed in the winter barn. When you use hay for your Halloween and fall decorations, remember that there are countless animal rescues who could use donations of hay. Check with your local Humane Society, or find an equine rescue near you.

I like hay: the smell of it, the way horses savor the taste, the way it sounds as I fork it into the feeder, the way it feels when I hold a flake in my hand. The cats play in it, the mice hide it in, and I like to nap in it. I have even written poems about hay …


Shaggy meadow
Wafting with
Bluegrass green,
Wandering in
Four-leaf clover,
Waltzing the
Tasseled orchard grass,
Waving at
Tall timothy
While the
Alfalfa rises
With the
Windblown fescue
Waiting for
Ripe harvest,
Weathering the
Depth of

© Gina McKnight, Poetry from the Field
2016 Monday Creek Publishing