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GSBN:Take two -- Pine straw bale construction?



RE my first email on this.... there must be a robot snipping forwarded
text... here it is in full below:
Has anyone heard of this, and/or does anyone have some advice for this person?
thanks,
Catherine Wanek


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

Hello Catherine, My name is A.K. Harrison and I live in the South
(Hattiesburg, MS). 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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