22 Reasons Bringing In The Silage Was The Highlight Of Our Youth

22 Reasons Bringing In The Silage Was The Highlight Of Our Youth

The craic is mighty! With the impending heatwave this week, this year's first cut of silage will surely be finished for everyone come Friday. Imagine the excitement of youngsters up and down the country over the last month.

Here are some of our favourite memories of doing the silage back in the day.

1. RTÉ's farming forecast becomes must-watch television

Sunday, just after the dinner was eaten and the prayers were said. Gerry says there should be a break in the weather come Wednesday.


2. The excitement when the mower goes up the road

Sitting by the window watching and waiting. From dawn till dusk, until finally - and usually five minutes after your father has started to milk - you hear the sound of tractor and mower thundering up the road.


Here we go!

3. Immediately mowing the lawn so you don't feel left out

You might not be old enough to drive a 395 but you can certainly pilot the ride-on mower!


4. Half the country arriving to help out

Uncles, neighbours, cousins ... they all arrive for various roles. If you weren't drawing in then the essential items to bring were sunhats and your own grape. That pit won't tidy itself!


5. An hour into picking up: someone breaks down

Well that was inevitable.

6. Getting the lift home for the dinner

Harvesters and loads abandoned, and away we go. Half the lads in the back of a van, the other half in the tractor with the full load. No need to wash the hands upon arrival. Sure it's a good healthy dirt.


7. Approximately 45 bottles of Miwadi being consumed


It's thirsty work, as the fella says.

The dinner and dessert is all well and good but what's really needed is the luxurious taste of an orange cordial, followed by the optional 'ahhhh' of contentment.

8. ''The pit's takin' shape now lad''

'I tell ye, another load or two and she'll be ready to be tramped.'

9. Someone gets stuck

'What took ye goin' up that way anyway, ye clout! They're coming with the chain now. You'll probably end up here again.'



10. The smell of fresh cut grass

Half the crowd are reveling in the brilliant smell and good weather, they other half are doubled over with hay fever and a nose that's running more than Sonia O'Sullivan.

11. Getting a spin on the harvester

The main event, before the days of the self-propelled. If you were lucky enough the lad on the harvester would have a little seat in the tractor beside him. And if you played your cards right you might even get sip out of the bottle of 7Up hanging out the back window.



12. Someone's trailer comes off the hitch

'They need the chain back at the pit. Mickey's trailer came off the hitch when he was tippin'. Trouble follows him everywhere.'

13. The thrill of going to the shop on the way home with a load

Sure it wouldn't be the silage without a few penny sweets and a Dairy Milk. Obviously the proper greeting for the shopkeeper was 'Great day for work.'

14. Meeting classmates on the road as you're bombing along

'Look at me above in the 6180. I'm pure class!' *Turn hand backwards and throw your arm high in the air to greet them*



15. Someone arrives back with half a load

That can only mean one thing - the field is finished!

16. DAY TWO!

Sure we're only getting going. If you were really lucky, it might even go on for a week.

18. Someone breaks down again


The long wait for the main man to arrive in the field with the tool box and various other instruments in the boot of the car.



17. It rains

'Well fuck that weather forecast anyway!'

There was no other option but to go back to house and sit it out in the kitchen. What time is it? 11 o'clock? Sure with any hope the dinner will probably be ready at this stage anyhow.



19. Someone gets called away

The rain clears but the excitement is starting to wane. So much so that one of the lads drawing in has been mysteriously called away for some other very important task. He's most likely gone to play a bloody football match. No commitment.

20. Five days later...

She's finally finished. Yehoo!



21. The pit needs tramping

Hours of reversing over and back on the same spot. Each time getting all the more closer to edge. Nerves of steal is what you need up there.

22. Tyre water. EVERYWHERE!

Now it's time to pay the price for the few days of craic. No one likes covering the bloody pit. Auld wet, worm infested covers from last year to go under, new cover on top and then the never-ending sea of tyres.



Mark Farrelly

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