As you arrive at the farm there is a massive building being constructed. This, séchoir à foin has been in the making for several years. While demolition and construction may have only started last fall, the project has been a goal of Fañch’s for quite some time. Quick explanation time.
A séchoir à foin translates directly to a “hay dryer”. Essentially, this expansive building will replace the grass silage that the farm depended on during the winter months. There will be three separate “cells” where hay will be stored and three large ventilators will blow warm air throughout the building to dry the hay. A large crane will be suspended from the ceiling and one of us (though usually Fañch) will climb the platform, sit inside the crane, and then maneuver it along the tracks in order to grab the hay and move it.
The decision to switch to this method was made for several reasons. One, the dry hay is much better for the animals’ health than silage. Also, the working conditions are improved for the farmer. Another important benefit is that the quality of the milk improves. This means that any products made from the milk will also improve.
More pictures to come as the project advances!