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GSBN:Fwd: Pine straw bale construction?

Has anyone heard of this, and/or does anyone have some advice for this person?
Catherine Wanek

Subject: Pine straw bale construction?
To: blackrange@...

Hello Catherine, My name is A.K. Harrison and I live in the South
(Hattiesburg, Mississippi). I am going to build a pole house and use straw
bale wall construction. My question is, can I use pine needle bales? I
don't know how familiar you are with pine needles, but we use it here for
mulch because it doesn't decay for several years. The needles, about 10
inches long, are thin and flat with a waxy coating which gives them a
waterproof texture. Several years ago they began baling the straw for
mulch and they sale bales here 14x16x 24" long and weigh about 35 pounds.
Have you heard of their use in straw bale construction? I have not found
anyone in the straw bale Registry that has used them. I have just started
my research and have several e-mails sent out, but no one has answered
them as of yet. They started the baling of pine straw several years ago
for landscape mulch purposes and I wonder if it's just that no one has
tried them as of now. I lit a bale on fire and all it did was smolder
because of the compactness. They sale them by the truck loads, in 48' dry
vans, for $2.95 a bale. That's 1300 bales; a lot more than I would need,
but you see my point. There's plenty of it here. Every year, around
September, the pines replenish their needles. Soon after this time is the
best time to get them because they're fresh and clean. Can you give me any
advice? I talked to one distributor in Georgia, that sells both wheat
straw and pine straw bales, and he said the pine straw mulch last longer
in beds than the wheat. However, he has only heard of wheat straw being
used for building. Maybe I'll be the first.  Thanks for any advice, A.K.

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