Locals survive the harsh and prolonged Siberian winters mainly due to the practice of stockbreeding, and the livestock itself is maintained largely on hay which must be gathered and preserved in sufficient quantities during summer and early autumn. Thus, many natives leave their gers or yurts and set off to the Mongolian steppes which provide plenty of succulent grass for this purpose.
For months the farmers cut the grass, and dry it in the Mongolian sun. Women bring them food from home, however, often the mowers have to cook in the steppe on their own.
In late August through mid-September finished product is gathered – an especially odorous hay that resonates throughout the steppes. Finally, they may safely return home with the assurance they will survive the coming cold.
Hay helps to sustain Mongolians from November through at least March, but in case of bad winters as late as April or even May sometimes.