A long-standing tradition in the construction of straw bale houses is the straw bale party – a modern version of a barn raising. A dawn-to-dusk festival of cutting bales, coffee and doughnuts, stacking bales, coffee and doughnuts, trimming and pounding bales into place, more coffee and doughnuts. Finally clean up and, for the survivors, a beer.
You invite your friends. The contractor brings all his crews and invites his friends. And surprisingly, people come from far away just to get the experience of straw bale construction.
The bales are "2-string bales" of rice straw, so named for how they're tied up. Each is 18 inches wide, 36 inches long, and weighs about 45 pounds. They were delivered to the site on a big flatbed truck a couple of days earlier. Working with the bales is not delicate work: The primary tool for cutting and trimming is a chain saw.
© 2021 Randy Knight