Seed catalogues are piling up on my counter and I am beginning to think about summer gardens. By the end of March I'll have a pile of straw bales ready to "nest out" my raised bed gardens with enough straw around the sides to pull up when it's time to tuck in the new seedlings. This year, I'm super excited about the fact that William has rye bales for the gardens. Rye straw is my absolute favorite! Here's why...
Rye is allelopathic - a fancy way to say that when it grows it inhibits weed germination. Our organic rye straw is fantastic for gardens because it is very clean with few weed seeds.
Not only is straw great for vegetable gardens, but makes a great mulch for all your gardens. It protects the soil, helps keep moisture in during the hot summers, prevents weeds from taking over and eventually decomposes to provide nutrients for the soil.
Now, to think outside the garden box... bales also make great outdoor summer seating! We've used bales around a temporary fire pit, and for seating at farm weddings. Topped with a piece of fabric they can look downright farm elegant!
You might be wondering what is straw anyway? It's the stem of the plant after the grain has been harvested. Straw typically comes from small grains like oats, barley, wheat or rye. Hay, also served up in bales, is made up of grasses and legumes - the kind of stuff horses, goats, cattle, sheep and even chickens like to eat. Straw doesn't make good animal feed, but soil and plants love it!
It's not too early to start thinking about your straw needs for the summer. Our barn is full and we are ready to take orders.
The farm store is closed for the time being, but you can always call William to place your order. We'll be gearing up for maple syrup season soon, so keep an eye out for our next POP-UP sometime in March...I'm ready for Sap Coffee and Sap Shrub - What a treat!
Sending love from the farm!