Hay in the shed is like money in the bank and my little hay shed was full. But ... as the dry became dryer, I could see the "money in the bank" would be twice as expensive when I did my usual two refills of hay later in the year and I decided that early intervention was essential.

I don't have grass – or if I do it's a bonus. I have clean, green, wee paddocks (eight of them on two acres) and everything here gets hard-fed. Everyone has two feeds a day of boiled barley mixed with copra, and the pigs have Goldilocks' spare milk added to their buckets too. All of the animals are topped up with greens from the garden, and fruit from the orchard and I grow fodder crops in every space available. Goldilocks grazes the long acre, Last Thyme gets a couple of hours out on the roadside (either before or after we have gone for a ride), and any calves I may be raising always have an open bag of Fibre-pro in their pens which they can help themselves to whenever they like. Instead of buying groceries, I buy feed. What I feed my animals feeds me and I think my food supply is pretty good.

But, the dry was becoming dryer. We had had a very wet spell and we 'oldies' always know that Mother Nature will balance things out. I was beginning to read the signs and I decided to panic before everybody else did. I decided to secure my two sheds' worth of hay before the price doubled.

A bull I had loaned out for dairy mating was dispatched to the works and I asked my hay supplier if I could pay for a double load of hay and whether I could keep it stored in his shed until space was available in mine. This wasn't a problem and now I don't just have "money in the bank" ... I have "pure gold"!