Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bales and Bales and More Bales

640 bales of straw on the wall, 640 bales of straw. You take one down and pass it around. 639 bales of straw on the wall...

Early yesterday morning, Craig the Farmer arrived with 540 full and 100 half bales of freshly cut oat straw. We learned that oat straw is longer and less dusty than others like wheat or barley to use. Craig had thought he could rebale last year's round bales into square bales, but it didn't work well because the straw became too short in the process. He baled the new ones on Friday using newly cut straw, but it has only about 11% moisture content (not including the fog that clung to its edges this morning on the way down from the Woodstock area). Craig had an 18-wheeler packed full, but couldn't make it up our driveway. A neighbour kindly allowed him to park in their yard while we proceeded to load and unload about 20-25 pick up truckloads back and forth. It took us four hours of grunting and sweating, but we did it. The thing that amazed us all the most was that Craig could stand on top of his transport truck and launch bales onto our pick up trucks in precisely the place they needed to be to interlock properly for safe travel to our site. How he could manage to land a forth bale tightly between three other bales on edge from the top of that rig is beyond me. I'd like to see him with a lasso.
We really enjoyed chatting it up with our new farmer friend in person, and found we knew many of the same people - including my best friend's husband in Maine!

Tarping the bales took us all afternoon because we tied and sealed all the tarps together. After that, Dave & I mopped another coat of iron sulfate on the slab to help us stain it a mottled light brown. Check out the scoring in this photo.

Our article in KV Style hit suburbia yesterday, and attracted many drop ins to our site. It was great to meet neighbours and area residents, though we found it hard to keep up the work pace. We haven't seen the feature yet, so here's hoping the pitch forks and torches don't show up to send us packing...

BTW - the interviews that Kim Thompson and I did with CBC Radio One this week can be found online at:


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