Synopses & Reviews
Making hay has always been hard work, just about the hardest work on a farm. Spanning 150 years, The Haymakers tells a story of the labor and heartbreak suffered by five families struggling to make the hay that fed their livestock, a story not just about grass, alfalfa, and clover, but also about sweat and fears, toil and loss. The Haymakers is an epic -- the history of man's struggle with nature as well as man's struggle against machines. It relates the story of farmers and their obligations to their families, to the animals they fed, and to the land they tended.
Hoffbeck also documents and preserves the commonplace methods of haymaking. He describes the tools and the methods of haymaking as well as the relentless demands of the farm. Using diaries, agricultural guidebooks and personal interviews, the folkways of cutting, raking, and harvesting hay have been recorded in these chapters. In the end, this book is not so much about agricultural history as it is about family history, personal history -- how farm families survive, even persevere.