Last summer we ordered the straw bales for this years building courses and the weather as ever decides when crops will be cut and harvested, this lead to the farming neighbour who was baling the well compacted small bales for us ringing in the middle of our July 2013 Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course. Teaching all day and helping with the cooking in the evenings leaves little time to go and collect bales, but they could not be left in the field to be rained on so collect them we did.
The bales had been left in small piles around a single sloping field just off the main road so we could collect with our car and trailer.
You can see in the back ground the clouds are starting to accumulate so delaying collection is not an option and with only a small trailer to collect them multiple trips have to be made to collect all 300 small bales. I collected the first trailer load on my own when Fiona was teaching.
Much to both my surprise and joy on returning to the farm the teaching day was over and many of the students jumped in to help unload the bales and stack them in the barn with me. This gave me time to return for a second trip with Fiona and again on our return the students who had not already showered aided in the stacking of the bales again. I could only get 54 bales on the trailer per load so having ordered 300 and been given a few extra bales I had to make a total of six trips over two days and on the last trip it started to rain luckily I drove out of the rain on the trip back to our farm and with help got all the bales back under cover in the barn before the rain caught up and the bales were all stacked safely out of the weather for the year before we start building with them.
This July and September sees us set them in their final resting place as the walls of a round wood timber framed and straw bale cabin which should insulate and protect future students and guests for many years ahead.
All the best.