Yesterday on our drive around the neighborhood, we spotted Jeremiah Warren and his kids making hay while the sun shines. Word has it they took over the Leggett’s hay business, and I snapped a few pics as they were baling up hay in Nancy Heller’s field off Center Road, across from the Seven Hills Road intersection.
There used to be more hay-baling on the Old Mission Peninsula, back when horses were used for farming and farmers had more livestock to feed. Here’s a picture of Edgar DeVol and his crew bringing in some hay in Old Mission. Read more about the DeVol family here.
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When I was a kid, we used to bale hay in the field we refer to as “The Forty,” near the intersection of Kroupa Road and Peninsula Drive. There’s always been an apple orchard there, and the field in back of it has remain largely unchanged in my lifetime. A few years ago, the folks across the road fenced in an area to graze their horses, and there’s a few more apple trees there, but other than that, it looks pretty much the same as when I rode my own horse there in the 1970s.
When I got old enough, I helped with the hay-baling, driving our Chevy flatbed truck, “Old Black,” through the field as my dad, Walter Johnson, pulled the baler with his old Case DO tractor. I’ve got a great picture of him somewhere, but can I find it? No, I cannot. Will post when I do.
While Dad drove the baler, my brothers heaved the bales up onto the truck using hooks specifically for that purpose. Of course, it was always hotter ‘n hades. Then off we went to the barn to stack the hay to the rafters. We kids loved building hay forts in the barn. After the work was done, we went home and dove into the bay.
Here are a few more photos of the Warrens baling hay yesterday. And if you need hay (not to mention all sorts of yummy maple products), I’m guessing he might be your guy.
Share your own hay stories in the comments section below.
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb