So I needed some hay. You see my last cutting of grass hay was...subpar. Dirty and over the winter has developed a nice sheen of white mold/fungus inside. It was just to wet when I bailed it. Sigh. So last weekend I decided to shop around. Hay prices being what they are, I wasn't looking for any deals. I didn't think a fellow as late to the dance as me should complain, if I could even find any this late in the season. I talked to a friend of mine, but he is over committed as it is. No problem, it's my fault for not planning ahead better.
So I chatted with the Mrs. about how to proceed (call ads in the paper, check craigslist, capitol press classifies). I decided to give a call to a fellow with a roadside hay stack. He was there and quoted me @ $200/ton for alfalfa and he does weekend load outs in the morning. I hijacked one of the wrestlers from the team I help coach, borrowed a trailer from an office mate and off I went. Sort of.
Load out beings @ 8:30 and the seller said he'd be there until about 10:00. I was late getting the trailer (lights did not work...of course) and it took my wrestler helper longer than expected to find my farm. Anyway we got there and Ed (the seller) wasted no time loading us up. This is not his first rodeo and he has all the right toys to toss bails around effortlessly. Too bad I forgot to check the tires. They were under inflated and the 4000lbs of hay finished the deflating job for two of them. Ed (always a guy with the right tools) had a compressor and we managed to resurrect one of them. The other was having none of it. As a buddy of mine says (when things get tough)..."stupid, stupid, poopy, poopy!"
So we toss 9 bales in the pickup and make arrangements to come back on Sunday to limp the beast home. My helper and I stack our bales and I sent him on his way. He had plans with his pop to take advantage of the liquidation of Circuit City. I completely understand.
So it occurs to me that Les Schwab (my tire place) isn't open on Sunday. I call Ed and ask if I can jump the now locked gate (with my 2.5 ton floor jack in tow) and steal that flat tire to get it fixed. He says sure thing and I start loading the truck. Ed calls back to say he has asked his tenant (Ed doesn't live on site) to open the gate for me. Now that's cool. My old knees appreciated it.
So off I go, and after some cussing and fussing I get the trailer up and the wheel off. I take it to Schwabies and get the valve stem replaced (free as usual) and it's good as new. I tootle back to the hay and put the tire back on. All better.
Sunday morning comes and I meet Ed to finish the load out, pay him and run away with my goodies. Not only does he cut me a discount to $175/ton (because I would take some marginal bales from the top and bottom of the stack) he throws in 6 extra bales. He's got my business. Turns out Ed sells a machine or two from time to time and I may be hassling him for a combine at some point in the future. We'd like to do some small acreage grains every other year, and none of the custom cutters really want to bother with 3-5 acre jobs...I don't blame them. So now I have a source for quality hay and used machines.
So during the pre-game and half-time shows of the Superbowl, I get most of 2 tons in the barn and the critters fed. The alfalfa was leafy as all get out and well received. The Mrs and I are more comfortable now that the critters won't starve between now and when the pastures have enough goodies to feed them.