We are nearing the end of our first hay cut of 2012. It has been challenging to say the least trying to get hay in before the monsoons hit with the high humidity and scorching sun. As our muscles sag and our bones ache, we have elected to higher some younger brawn to bring in the hay.
The complaints are always the same when you try to rope in volunteers. Everyone has bad backs or hay fever or better yet, an engagement they can't break. So you would think that paying people a good wage (well above minimum) would be the answer. - NOT... You always have to hire extras because it is a guarantee that someone will not show up after saying 'yes' to the job. And then there are the city folks. You will get through giving driving directions to your farm only to be asked by the applicant "what bus goes by your place?" I'm not kidding. People actually assume you have mass public transit in the middle of rural Ontario. You try and explain in your advertisement that the work is hard, hot and dirty and that they should come prepared with proper dress for the work environment. Even after explaining what proper dress should be, there are always those tough guys that show up in shorts, bare hands and flip flops! After an hour of haying, they look like they are ready for the pine box with blisters as big as Loonies on their hands and thousands of scratches on their hairy legs, not to mention the black and blue toes that are hidden with all the ground dirt showering their feet from the fields. This ain't no beach buddy and the only sun tan you'll get is an earthy one.
After four hours of slugging bales today, our guys were cooked. There is another 800 or so bales waiting for them tomorrow so they will need their rest tonight. One poor bugger just couldn't throw another bale and said in protest "I'll be glad to never see a bale of hay ever again." Needless to say he's done with haying.
And to think of the 40 plus years Bob and I hauled bales out of fields no less and did it ourselves makes you wonder about the soft generation of youth we have. But then again, we do have some great young lads that really put their nose to the grind and shoulder to the load. Only wish we could find more like them. Amen