Archive for the ‘Hay’ Category

This first season of Smith Rock Farm has been an experiment on a lot of different levels: trying new (to me) techniques, new varieties, and most importantly, a new lifestyle. Results? Mixed. More successes than failures. It feels good to be able to bring my horse to my own barn and feed him hay that I grew, and to know the barn is full with enough to feed him until next summer’s cuttings. It was satisfying to be able to sell my organic produce. Surprising that I was the only vendor at Central Oregon Locavore selling tomatoes. Next year I’ll plant even more tomatoes. I look forward to serving my own potatoes, squash and carrots on Thanksgiving.
Most of all I’ve loved being in control of my own time, being able to work on my priorities rather than an employer’s. Although it’s only been three months since I quit my job, it’s been the happiest three months of the year.


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Our first cutting of hay was a little late this year because of wet weather. We baled last weekend and had a yield of nearly 2 tons per acre.

First 2012 cutting of hay at Smith Rock Farm

Baling day at Smith Rock Farm for the first cutting of 2012. Photo by Thomas Osborne.

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What goes into our hay

Our hay is growing tall but with rain forecast this weekend, we can’t cut yet. We need a stretch of at least five days of dry weather – not usually a problem in the High Desert where we have 10 inches or less of rainfall per year. It’s been a cool, wet spring.

Hay harvest, first cutting 2011

Hack Norton, right, and Jan Even, left, assess the first cutting of the 2011 season at Smith Rock Farm. Photo by Thomas Osborne.

We grow a premium hay mix that contains Tetraploid perennial ryegrass, Potomac orchardgrass, Fleet Meadow brome, Pizza orchardgrass, Bull tall fescue, Treasure timothy, and Max annual ryegrass. It’s great for horses, or any livestock, but requires substantial irrigation.
Hack Norton, a nearby cattle rancher who runs Hacklin Herefords (grass-fed beef), cuts and bales our hay.

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Hay sold out

Our hay production for the 2012 season is now sold out. We are working on being able to achieve weed-free certification for next year.
To find a hay grower to supply you this season, contact the Central Oregon Hay Growers’ Assn., 498 S. E. Lynn Blvd., Prineville, OR 97754 or its president, Greg Mohnen (541-419-5339 or greg@themcginnisranch.com).

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Planting is almost finished! We should be doing our first cutting of hay soon.

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