Our grazing lease landlord Pat Shanley called yesterday - just to check in on me. Pat has lived all of his 91 years here in Auburn (except for time away during World War II). Since we leased his ranch last fall, he's become a good friend!
He told me that the man who had cut the field in front of his house (about 7 acres) for hay last year came to see him this week. When he asked Pat about cutting hay this year, Pat told him, "We've got it covered - we're doing the mowing, baling and feeding all in one operation this year." When the man looked puzzled, Pat explained further, "We have sheep coming!" Pat and I both got a good laugh from the story.
Pat's reply was only partly in jest. Like me, Pat feels that letting the animals do the job rather than using a machine (and increasingly expensive fuel) is the right approach.