Surplus Taper & Propped Up

Back in the day, when I was a child, we would make hay while the sun shined. After dark too. When the barns were stacked full we began stacking the “surplus” small square bales outside in large square haystacks. The stacks would reach the size of a building and we even tapered the top few layers like a roof line, setting each successive higher layer in from the edge by one half the width of a bale until we narrowed it to only one bale wide along the “ridge”. One neighbor would cover that with a “thatch” of loose hay but on our farm we would end the construct there.

No matter what place and order we would arrange the bales during the projects on the way up as soon as we were done stacking the stacks, settling due to gravity would ensue. Seldom was that settling on an even keel. One side would always settle more and the stacks would start to lean. Then Dad would have us nail a couple boards angled together onto the top of long poles to form a “T”. Those long poles were wedged between the sides of the stack leaning over and the ground below by digging a small divot and setting a short board stake diagonally into the divot to keep the bottom of the poles from sinking into the ground. It took what was once a pretty stack and made it almost an embarrassment. At least for those of us who stacked it.

Sometimes the propping up would work. Most times it failed and the stacks would topple over to be re-stacked beside the original footprint in a new more sustainable manner. Never as pretty as the original stack but sufficient to keep most of the weathering to a minimum. We always started feeding the outside stacked hay first. Even though the stacks were usually the “windbreak” along side the outside of the north fence line of the cattle feedlot. Fed from the top down the wind was still stopped until the piles were nearly gone by spring. The winter snow seldom seeped into the stack like the summer and autumn rains so having the tapered top gone did little damage if the snow was scooped off before the monthly thaws. But the hay was still slowly deteriorating. Eventually we would work through the surplus and move on to the still yummy hay in the barn.

Currently we are smack dab in the middle of our February thaw. I no longer have cattle and Dad is no longer with us but the weather and the warming sun have conjured up that memory. I thought I would share it with you. Take it for what it’s worth, if anything. Given the title, I’m curious as to what pops up when I type that title into You Tube’s search engine to add video.



Farm N

For over thirty years now.  Sooner or later I should know how to do it. Farm magazines and TV shows are heavy on the legacy aspect of it. They want farmers to think about retiring. If the commodity markets keep dropping we may have no choice. You would think that once the prices moved down below the cost of production they would stop falling. You would be wrong. Deflation is alive and well. The central banks have supposedly been fighting deflation for six years. I’m pretty sure they lost the battle. They may have jacked up the price of land. But I’m pretty sure the EPA had more to do with that than the Fed’s helicopter money drops. Just like the EPA torpedoed the price of land by cutting the mandated amounts of corn alcohol they force the country to supply to the market. Anyone who didn’t see that one coming was a wide eyed optimist. The Gov giveth and the Gov taketh away.

After nearly one hundred years of  money (and market) manipulation what the government takes away the most is farmers. There aren’t many left. That there are more lawyers in this country than farmers is quite telling. Anymore a farmer needs a lawyer just to keep up with all the new rules and regulations mandated by government. We should have never let lawyers hold an office of government in this country. A lot of our problems in America stem from the lack of diligence in keeping lawyers out of the statehouse. Our congress passed and the states ratified an amendment to the constitution (the original thirteenth amendment) keeping them out but the war of 1812 baited America away from it. Had we followed through this country would be far different from the collective reduction it has become. Two hundred years ago the average native American was treated with more respect than the average American citizen is treated with today.  The largest percentage of incarcerated convicts in the world is our new legacy. The gulag is alive and well.

Farming for the government is the legacy of the twentieth century. As soon as they take away one form of manipulation they quickly create another. Ethanol is just their latest boat rocker. They offer safe harbor and then beat your boat to pieces at the pier. They should observe a no wake policy as they troll this harbor’s waters. Like the sirens of old they lure you in from the sea only to be dashed on the rocks they knew were always there by the shore. Then with sweet little lies they try to keep you there. A ship is safest far out to sea. Man is safest far away from other men. Collective reductions should be avoided at all times and in all ways. Golem are impossible to slay, only their excessive greed for power can take them down into the fires that created them. That day cannot be far away. It’s always darkest right before the dawn. Once the moon goes down. The chirping of crickets gives way to the sound of the songbirds. Who eat those dark lords of the night for breakfast. So lets sing. Lets sing our way through the twenty first century. We’ll sing the song of solo man.


While you listen to this …….

Watch this …….