Sunday, 21 August 2016

A Haymaking Meithial.

To paraphrase Harold Wilson: A week in hay-making is a long time.  Last week we made small square bales of hay.  Thanks to the help of a few local farmer's we mowed the grass, turned it with an haybob and put it into windrows, baled it into small square bales of hay, gathered it into groups and carried it away with pick up and trailer.




















There is an old Irish word called 'Meithial'.  It refers to a word for the communal help people got on the farm during harvesting.  Last week a few local people helped us gather in our hay.  

It reminded me of when we use to come "on holiday" to my grandparents farm in Ireland and gather in the loose hay with pikes and horse and carts.  My grandmother and my mother would come down the fields laden with bottles' of cold tea (really refreshing), Guinness, sandwiches and my grandmother's currant flat cake which was covered in butter.  

Yes it really took me back to when the neighbour's helped each other and no money was exchanged.  It was great to get the help last week and the sun shone.  So different to the last few days with gales and the relentless rain.  

Do you believe in the Meithial?  

11 comments:

  1. Friends turned up unexpectedly to help us with the bringing in of the hay on our small far field. They were a fantastic help, provided much merriment, and the pints of cold beer we shared with them afterwards at our local bar is a treasured memory. So yes, I do believe in helping, and receiving help, on the farm.

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    1. Sounds like us Vera. Sat on the square hay bales drinking bottles of Budweiser and eating sandwiches and having a laugh and a joke and putting the world to rights. It was great to get the help instead of Leviathan like tractors doing all the work. Thanks!

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  2. Nice to see the little bales and the baler. The farms round here help each other out during harvest but I am sure it is not all done for free. That is not to say that the spirit of helping is not there though. Everything on a big scale is costly so has to be squared up in the end. The odd helping hand in the workshop for an emergency is more likely to be done for a "drink" rather than call out the engineer.

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    1. Totally agree Rachel it's a barter service for labour or materials like hay. It took me back when the neighbouring farmer's use to help my grandparents and us bring in the hay. It was really enjoyable. Thanks!

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  3. We havent done any haymaking yet, perhaps next year but when we do need help locals are always there to lend a hand, its the one thing I like about rural living everyone helping each other :-)

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  4. Hi Dawn, Sounds like you live in a country area with helpful locals. It's good to see people working together instead of just one man and a massive tractor doing all the work. Thanks!

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    1. Yes it's bitter sweet memories for me Cumbrian. My children are making new memories and all I think of when my dad and his family were alive and piking the loose hay. Life is so short with some wonderful memories. Thanks!

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  6. Sounds great, I love the helping out of neighbours, but I like the sound of the food you used to have even more!

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    1. Hi Kev. Times have changed and people seem to not help people around the farm like they use to do when it was loose hay and small square bales of hay. One of our helpers wife came up with their children and helped stack the bales into fours. They loved helping.

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