Where can I find straw bales?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by willdorr, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. willdorr

    willdorr New Member

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    Hiya,

    Where can I find straw bales for building? I live in Maine, and I haven't a clue. (And yes, those two statements are logically interdependent.)

    Thanks!
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Do you have any kind of farm supply store or farmer's co-op in the area? If so, that would be the first place to check. Also look in any of the free papers that are only classified ads, such as Penny Saver or Thrifty Nickel. If all else fails put your own ad in the paper for bright straw in square bales. This is the wrong time of year for it tho. Any bales you find right now are either a premium price because they have been in someone's barn or will have been out in the weather.
     

  3. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Find someone who is growing grain (usually wheat or oats) and who will be baling the stems for straw. Remember a buildable straw bale is different than a straw bale used for bedding. The buildable bale will be much more tightly baled. My test is if it will fall off of a trailer at 70 mph and only round the edges it is baled tight enough for building.
     
  4. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    The old forum had a link to the hay growers all over the country. Maybe someone can find this for you. If you can, get the straw bale book by Steen. It is so interesting and will help you. Also visit folks in your community who are building one and ask lots of questions.
     
  5. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Don't know. Not my country. However, one thing I hope you're clear on is that straw and hay are NOT the same thing. I mention this only because I've seen many posts where people don't appreciate that.

    Hay is food. It's cut green, it's full of sugars and digestible proteins, and it WILL get eaten by something or other.

    Straw is dead and pretty-well inert. It's what's left over after a cereal has pulled all the available nutrients into the grain, the grain has been harvested, and all that's left is structural elements - straw that's about as edible as timber. Try to make sure they did a good job of getting all the grain off.

    Now might be the right time of your year to contract a farmer to sell you building bales of straw in six or eight months time. If they can plan for it, and bale packed-tight bales when they do it, you may be able to get what you want locally with minimal transport charges.
     
  6. Chas in Me

    Chas in Me Well-Known Member

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    Hey willdorr,
    Go to your local convenience store and buy a copy of Uncle Henry's. Look in the Farm and Home section.
    Chas
     
  7. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Make sure you know what you need in the bales--tight, no dirt or refuse (large weeds, etc.), uniform size, etc. I have a son who works for a contractor specializing in energy efficient houses, and they build straw bale houses a lot, and they run into problems with poor quality straw and poorly made bales. Get someone who has done some straw bale building to help you make sure you get good bales.

    Jim
     
  8. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    I am not certain about this, but I thought that straw bales for buildings had to be made especially for the building. They have to be super tight and baled with wire. Only certain square balers can do it.

    At least, I thought I read that somewhere.
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If you are building with non wt bearing straw bales as infill in a post and beam they do not need to be as strong and tight as if they were being used as wt bearing walls. In the strawbale house book they mention that it can be easier and cheaper to build using modified post and beam with straw infill.