18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, June 28, 1913: Got initiated into the hay field this afternoon, and I can say that I didn’t stay there very long either.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
How did Grandma manage to convince her father that she didn’t need to help for very long? It takes a lot of labor to make hay, and I’m surprised that he allowed her to be a slacker.
First the grass needed to be cut, and periodically turned as it dried.
After the grass had dried into hay, it was loaded onto wagons. Horses needed to be held and led as the hay was gathered, and workers needed to fork it onto the wagon.
And, of course, this all needed to be done very quickly—with eyes always looking towards the sky for any clouds that might suggest an impending storm. As the old saying says—Make hay while the sun shines.
You may also enjoy a previous post about how hay was unloaded from wagons a hundred years ago and moved into the haymows in the barn: