whats life without a little salt?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by comfortablynumb, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    salt, the topic of my life to-day...

    I'm working on hearsay and logic and foredrawn conclusions... what say U?

    My shed where i keep hay I have a dampness problem (fixed the cause but it it will be damp for a while) and damp=must&mold.
    the old fella who bales the hay sez "salt the bales, I do thats why you dont get any bad bales from me (and I ddly never do). SALT on the layers of bales retards molds and mildews... so sez the old farmer. I ask him how to keep the dirt from harboring mold he sez "rock salt.. pickle the floor then lie the pallets down"
    this intreiged me, so I did some midnight oil burning on the subject of salt... all the various things they use salt for. (more than oil we use salt.... its pretty interesting)
    o the subject of storage, some of the most valuable things on earth, boks paintings art ect are stored in SALT MINES. why? the salt mine has a few things going for it... consistant temp...consistant humidity and a strange lack of bacteria and molds, perfect for storing things that mold and mildew destroy.

    mm mmm mm.... the old man may be on to something. So I ask around and lo, salting hay isnt uncommon. (callme stupid I discover obvious stuff every day)

    so, I got 200#of rock salt and 200# of pure food grade salt. the guy at agway and a few overall clad old guys said "yep thats a dandy idea!" when I said I was going to put a thick layer of rock salt under the pallets.

    approval allaround... mm I'm doing good today. SO FAR.

    I had done this before with the fine salt and when I pulled up the pallets this time lo, no mold no mildew...mm mm mmm.

    if a cup os good, 200# is much better right?
    cant hurt I figure. so I put down my nice even 1/2 of salt overkill and plopped my palets down
    I have only 3 bales left so in a day or 2 I have to go fill the barn. fine salt for the bales (to be used sparingly as he already salts the bales).

    anyone here ever "pickle" the dirt under yer hayshed? any adverse problems I didnt forsee?

    I figure, if you can pack raw fish in salt and it not go bad, how much harm can a few 100 lbs of rock salt under the pallets for the hay cause?

    this type of thinking gets me in trouble so before i put in the hay....

    how bad did I screw up? :haha:
     
  2. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    you will have all the animals coming to lick your salt. :p
     

  3. pygmywombat

    pygmywombat Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like it was an excellent idea to salt down the hay shed floor. We have ours up in a loft in the cows barn and last summer we got a very damp, newly baled batch from an farmer in his late eighties (and he did all the haying himself, didn't even have a kicker on the baler!). He told us to salt it down, so we did and turned the bales every day. It was some of the best hay we had had and the cows just gobbled it right down.

    Claire
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We salted hay when it was baled a little wetter than it needs too be without molding. We'd scatter a hand full on each bale as it was stacked in the hay mow. I never put lime under the bales that were stacked on dirt. If you lay down a sheet of visqueen than put a layer of old dry hay or straw over it. The bales will stay dry.Your pallets is good. I would be afraid of the salt as it will draw up moisture from the ground all summer. It will stay wet under there. Ag lime might be a better choice. I imagine you already know but stacking the bales on edge will allow more air between the layers which aids in drying.
     
  5. Round my neck of the woods we buy "salt hay" that is grown in a salt marsh. We usually use it for mulching strawberries. I am told that you can feed it to animals but if you feed it to milking cows it can give the milk an off flavor. As a side note on the subject of salt, there is a book titled “Salt a world history” by Mark Kurlansky. It is quite an interesting read.
     
  6. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wow, that's a handy bit of info!
    When I thought about it though, I realized that's how they used to cure meat, why wouldn't it make sense!
    Thanks!!! :p
     
  7. JanH

    JanH Well-Known Member

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    Yes salting the hay is good.
    Salt will help with moisture and a whole lot more than that. (Do use in moderation though). Where hay is concerned moisture can also = heat. Heat = spontaneous combustion...the nightmare of a barn fire can be skipped. When putting hay up...put a layer down, then spread salt over it...then a layer of hay then salt (I was always taught scatter it like you're feeding chickens).

    And in stacked hay to see if it's heating up...take a long rod, like reinforcing rod, and drive it down into the hay. Obviously mark it so you don't find it sticking up by impaling yourself on it. But leave it there for a day...pull it out and carefully touch it. If it's too hot to touch comfortably start unstacking hay... a pain and messy but not nearly what a fire is.
     
  8. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    ive hear od the stack on edge thing but dont see many people actually do it. I'll try it this year.

    whats visqueen?
     
  9. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's a black/blue plastic tarp material that looks like heavy garbage bag sort of, it usually comes in a roll. I know you can buy it at Sam's Club, so I'm sure they sell it at Wal-mart, Home Depot, etc.
     
  10. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    you mean like weed block or a blue tarp or like 4 mil black plastic??
     
  11. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Visqueen is heavy black plastic, although I've seen the same plastic in blue.