By: Eugenia Jones
Despite clouds and damp weather, the latest Hay Mowing Day in Jones Hollow went on as scheduled, and Kelly Tucker’s twenty acres of fescue, orchard grass, and red clover got mowed the old fashioned way-using only the power of men and mules.
Hay Mowing Days, generally held on the first Saturday of June for Tucker’s first cutting of hay and in September for his second cutting, are traditional events at the Tucker Farm. The days, filled with hard work, fellowship, good food, and fun, are eagerly anticipated by a wide assortment of folks throughout the community.
In addition to bringing in teams of mules and a hearty willingness to work, friends and family members brought side dishes of food to compliment the freshly grilled pork chops, burgers, and hotdogs that sizzled on the outdoor grill in eager anticipation of a scrumptious hay mowing mid-day feast.
As those driving the teams of mules geed, hawed, and reined the creatures left and right, the powerful animals, harnessed to old fashion sickle bar mowers, circled around the field, inching inward as swaths of fescue and clover fell to the ground filling the air with the sweet aroma of freshly mowed grass. With things going well, Tucker expected to harvest forty rolls of hay in his second cutting, making him well stocked for the wintertime feeding of his mules and other livestock.
The hay mowing event was special. If only for a few hours, it offered everyone a chance to slow the pace of their busy lives. Between shared stories, whittled cedar, plates of food prepared with love, and a peaceful contentment brought on by the rhythmic sway of grass as it fell beneath the blade, old and young alike found a sense of kinship that crossed family bloodlines. It was a brief moment when everyone stepped back and felt a deep sense of belonging and kinship.