‘They that wive twixt sickle and scythe shall never thrive’
The time between Haymaking and the corn harvest was such a busy period, that it was considered a bad time to marry. Haymaking was done by hand with a sickle, these were swung at an angle to cut the grass, and made easier if a good rhyme could be set up. The first man would step out in to the meadow but the next man had to leave a little gap to ensure he was safe from the swinging sickle.
Apparently, the song ‘One Man went to Mow, went to move a meadow’ gives the right gap, the second man would come in with the next line ‘Two Men went to mow, went to move a meadow’ and so on. Once cut the grass needed to be dried out in the fields, and turned every so often with a pitchfork. Once dried it was taken to the farm yard and the hay built into a hayrick. Often the rick had a thatched roof. The hay, normally made of a mixture of grasses, was cut off from the rick by a hay knife to fed to animals in the winter.
Tomorrow. Selling your wife at the Market.