The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

More mulch material

another straw delivery day

67 bales of straw grown on half an acre.

It went up from 4 to 5 dollars per bale plus 20 dollars for delivery.

Still a better deal than the local feed store with the bonus that these bales are tighter.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Straw is generally a bi product of small grain production, what is left after the grain is harvested. Having spent some time in your county (inlaws live on Tacoma mountain) where is small grain (oats, wheat etc) grown in the area?

I have seen mulch hay given away free from time to time on the SW VA craigslist but it's not delivered for that price!

Comment by Eric Rylander Tue Jun 4 17:40:42 2013
The straw I got from Tractor Supply ended up being full of seeds and sprouting everywhere. Is that just the nature of straw or did I get some bunk bales? The seedlings are easy enough to pluck out, but I was surprised when my potato patch started looking like a cover crop instead. I asked for straw but maybe they gave me hay instead.
Comment by mitsy Thu Jun 6 12:44:50 2013

Mitsy --- That's a shame! I've had varying degrees of seeds in my straw mulches over the years depending on how well they threshed the grain before leaving the straw behind. You'd be able to tell if that's the problem vs. if you got hay because hay is generally much finer in texture while an individual straw is likely to be around a quarter of an inch in diameter. If what's coming up looks like a cover crop, it's probably from straw, too --- the sprouts you get from hay look like a newly seeded lawn (and are much more troublesome to yank!)

Now's a great time to go on Craigslist and find a local farmer baling up his rye who'll sell you a whole trailer-load! I'd say that the straw I've gotten from farmers has been less seedy than the stuff I've gotten from the feed store, although I could be just misremembering.

Comment by anna Thu Jun 6 13:14:18 2013
Sounds like I'm lucky to be able to get straw for $5.50 per bale at our local feed store. I've considered buying a large load from a farmer, but being able to just stop by the store, that is literally on my way to work, and get a few bales at a time is just too convenient.
Comment by Jonathan Sat Jun 8 07:51:06 2013

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