Rednecks Have Duct Tape, We Have Hay string

Reader Contribution by Jane M.
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One of the most commonly used pieces of recycling around our farm is the ever reliable hay string. Some of you who might not know what hay string is. It is used to hold the hay or straw together in bales or rounds. On the homestead it is used for everything from taking the dog to the vet to making rows in the garden.

Used on my farm mostly as a temporary fix on about everything. The latch on the gate, to hold up tomato plants or keep the deck of the lawnmower in place. But hay string is so reliable that the temporary fix often become permanent. And one way you can tell this is by the color. I don’t know if it is planned or just something that happens. But each year the gentleman I purchase my hay from uses a different color. So by looking across my property I can tell that the cherry tree was put in sometime in 2014. In 2013 I tied the neighbor’s mailbox up after the snow plow hit it. And I think it is going to stay that way a little while longer. Haystring is made from a very tough nylon that really holds up well to the weather. Years ago it was all made from hemp. And chances were that when you picked up that last bale on the bottom of the stack, it would have rotted out or was eaten by a mouse. Often it would break apart sending hay to the ground and you falling backwards. But if you did need to cut the hemp it was easy to do with the head of a shovel or whatever else you could find laying around. It is a little tougher when you’re working with nylon. So I have a knife tied to a piece of hay string and wrapped around a post.

There is a manner in every barn on how to store your extra pieces of hay string. Some use a nail, others hang it over a door. Some barns toss it into a bucket or drum. I have seen massive supplies of hay string hanging around some barns and sheds. These people obviously know how to use a hammer, screwdrivers or other tools. So the rednecks can keep their duct tape, it won’t tie up a chicken while butchering or keep a blanket on the calf that has a chill. This must have been a very busy season for me, because I am seeing a lot of 2015 blue around here.

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