Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Round Bales


We use a lot of straw. If I had my druthers I'd have straw in every bed and wood mulch everywhere else. There would be no lawn, only beds and mulch. We'll get there eventually.

Last fall you'll remember we got 40 bales for free from a shopping center, but we're almost out of that. So we need more. Lots more. On Craigslist I found free rotten large square bales down in Purcell, but they're eight foot by three by three... I couldn't figure out a way to get them out the back of the pickup. The only solution I could think of was to get round bales. But here's the catch: we live on the wrong side of the county for wheat straw. Everybody and their brother bales bermuda grass for cattle feed out here. After a little more hemming and hawing, more waiting and more Craigslist checking Megan found round bales of wheat straw for $25.

From talking to the guy, I was under the impression it was in Minco (about 20 miles south of Mustang, which is just south of the city). After driving 6 miles of gravel (County Road 1230, if you care) it ended up being another 15 miles southwest of Minco. If you're keeping track, that's over 35 miles from where I work. So that's a 70 miles round trip for a bale of hay that I was excited about saving $10 on. The math didn't really work out in my favor, since I spent $10 on gas to get there. But the straw is great. It's dry, clean and relatively seed free and I'm very excited about mulching with it.

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but it's as tall as I am. It weighs about 1000 pounds, but the F150 hauled it just fine. I was fairly worried about getting it out of the truck, but Megan pushed it out by herself just to see if she could do it. The first shove was tough, but the bale's kinetic energy did most of the work after that (it's simple physics, google it). It rolled right off the tailgate, bounced twice, and came to a stop in the yard. If you're going to repeat this yourself, I'd advise NOT attempting it on an incline, since you won't be able to stop it rolling down a hill which you'll never be able to roll it back up.


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