Straw Bale Disaster

This year, I’m straw bale gardening, because I want to grow a TON of potatoes.

You know, because End of the World, and I like potatoes.

My plan was straightforward:

Buy straw bales

Enlist help for physical labor.

Pick up straw bales.

Place straw bales.

Condition straw.

Profit.

Me.

And it was a disaster from the start.

First, I could NOT find anyone willing to help me move straw bales. After craigslist posts, facebook posts, reaching out through church, and generally pulling out my hair, I happened to complain to a neighbor.

She was like ‘you can pay me to move straw bales’, and I was like ‘for real?’

Yes, for real.

Then I reached out to the farmers I’d been talking to about bales and NONE OF THEM GOT BACK TO ME. Two weeks of this, I could NOT find someone with small square bales.

I did finally find someone with LARGE square bales who was willing to deliver even, which would cut out part of the process. We’d planned to rent a uhaul, and he was like… no. I’ll drive them to you.

Fantastic.

I prepped my garden based on a guess at the size.

He arrived Saturday morning with THE BIGGEST STRAW BALES I HAD SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.

*facepalm*

He backed up neatly into the yard, tipped that out of his truck, looked things over with raised brows for a long moment and then decided it was our problem. “Good luck,” he said and was on his way.

Ya’ll… these bales are massive. 3x3x8 and almost as big as my station wagon.

There was no way they were fitting in my pretty raised beds. So I frantically tore those out to make space.

The neighbor comes over, my brother is there, my husband is there, and with the help of two 1×10 boards they were able to slide things into position along the driveway, diagonal to all fit on the landscaping tarp I had already put down, and this was the result:

(That’s my almost seven foot brother lying on one for reference.)

From another angle:

They’re SO BIG.

And since they won’t fit in my beds, I’ll have to wrap them in chicken wire before I can condition them.

It was a crazy day. I couldn’t help very much because I have a herniated disc in my back, but everyone else put everything into it.

So they’re set up. Huzzah! Thank you to my amazing neighbor, her sister, my brother, and my husband for making it work. There was definitely a long moment where I stared at them in the lawn and was sure I’d bit off more than I could chew.

I’m so not doing this again. They had better last~!

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