Producing hay can be quite a long winded process. After all, it takes months for it to grow to the right point for cutting. Surprisingly, hay can grow pretty well, regardless of a few weeks of undesirable weather. If you’ve budgeted your crop for problems but not suffered any, what can you do with all that extra hay?
Hay has been used in experimental structures like domestic housing projects. Barn conversions in colder climates like the UK have used treated hay as insulation. Some have even attempted to use it as part of the weight-bearing structure. It’s important to chemically treat the hay to ensure it is flame and fire retardant. This may be off-putting, but if it puts your extra hay to good use, it might be worth while.
Hay is traditionally grown for horses. If you’ve oversupplied, why not have a go at selling it for feed privately? It also makes excellent bedding for smaller animals like rabbits, guinea pigs, and tortoises. You may need to provide the hay in smaller quantities than you’re used to. Bags and quarter-bales might be ideal. It also means that domestic customers can transport it home in their vehicles.
You might be able to store your hay for later seasons. This isn’t practical for every use, but may come in handy for any winter purposes like barn coverage or even craft projects. There are different types of hay storage that might suit your property. Some are ideal for the short term, and others may provide better weather protection. As large bales are very heavy and tricky to move, you might find they can be covered and used to block access ways you want to remain private.
Spoiled hay may start to stink a bit after a while. It’s no good as feed, obviously, but it can still contribute to the food chain. Use it as soil protector for your vegetables and plants. If you’re due heavy rain, it can prevent soil erosion and excess mud. Plus, hay will eventually decompose, like any mulch, providing additional nutrition for your soil. Call the gardeners and the growers and agree on a price!
Of course, if you’re keen to make compost, the hay may help speed up the process a little. Thrown in on top during cold weather will help maintain the warmth needed for composting. Hay also helps prevent weeds popping through in those delicate beds in your garden or vegetable plot.
There are plenty of fun things you can do with hay bales and hay rolls. Set up a few obstacle challenges to better your driving skills. Or give yourself a great workout pushing them around! If you’re good at securing them you could even build them up for the kids to scramble over. Why not build a staging area for your next outdoor event? You can even paint them when they’re dry enough!
Hay needn’t go to waste. Beyond food and bedding, there are still plenty of uses for it. Let your imagination run wild and have some fun. Perhaps you can even earn a few extra dollars this year?