Thursday, September 18, 2008

On hay and horses...

Anybody who has ever been around horses knows that they like to graze. And, when the pasture they're on is insufficient, or when they're stabled, or in the winter, that means hay. And hay, unfortunately, is a commodity that is in rather short supply.

That's what we're facing here on the farm at the moment. Our pasture probably would have been sufficient, except for the fact that we've had drought conditions here two years running. So, the pasture is in rough shape. We can't really afford more fencing at the moment, and so we're making do by feeding supplemental hay.

Unfortunately, hay isn't all that cheap, either, and even if the pasture were in great shape we'd still have to supplement for the winter. So, we're trying to budget for a winter's hay. And, since we don't have sufficient space to store a winter's worth of hay, we're going to have to get creative.

Still, we think we can get by with 16 round bales for the winter. Round bales run $35.00 to $40.00 each here in East Tennessee (I've seen them priced higher, but those folks have effectively priced themselves out of our budget, so we don't even consider them). A winter's hay for $560.00 - with prices for food, electricity, fuel and tuition going up, and our budget at a set level, it might be a little challenging. We'll have to crunch some numbers and see where we can cut back.

Hmmm - maybe I'll cut out pedicures.... oh, wait - I don't GET pedicures. So, that won't work. I guess there'll be beans and macaroni on the table quite a bit this winter! Anybody have any good recipes? Here's to bean soup!


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