Hydration in the Hay Fields
As I drive the back roads and byways of our busy farming state, I see many farmers outside in the brutal sun haying. Vermont summers may be short, but they can be as humid and hot as any other state in the nation. With this in mind we must be aware of the damage that too much heat can do to our bodies.
The easiest way to avoid Heat Stroke and other heat disorders is to keep your body well hydrated. This means drinking plenty of water before, during and after exposure to the elements. Sports drinks are a good choice if you’re exercising or working in hot conditions, but water works fine, too
Drinks to Quench Your Thirst
HAYMAKER’S SWITCHEL (Vermont Gatorade)
2 c. sugar
1 c. Maple Syrup
1 c. Apple Cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
This was the standard “switchel” carried to the fields to quench the thirst of crews of haymakers. Molasses or boiled cider was sometimes substituted for maple syrup. It has many electrolytes and is a great sports drink.
Watching how much activity you’re participating in during hot days is also important. Don’t overdo it. Heat Stroke can affect you in less than an hour. If you feel yourself getting warm or light headed, it’s best to take a time out and rest in the shade.
It is also a good idea not to increase your blood pressure by getting really upset when your cows break down the fences and get into the neighbors hay fields and start eating their rolled bales of hay on a hot sunny Sunday.
Keep fluids near by and a smile on your face,