I have always loved the idea of using straw or hay, lots of it in my garden as a thick mulch, I follow the Ruth Stout methods of gardening. Then came strawbale gardening, planting directly in the strawbale itself, I witnessed one of these gardens planted by a neighbor who had very rocky soil and couldn’t grow anything before, her tiny strawbale garden exploded with veg, it was very happy there.
Now I discover that with all the pesticides and poisons that are being sprayed, it’s now a problem for those of us who just want to garden using straw or hay. I was under the assumption that if you got something that was used for animal food and bedding that it must be safe, turns out I was making huge and incorrect assumptions.
It seems that it is common practice for the farmers to spray their fields with weed killer and pesticides, it’s apparently not a major issue for the animals eating it, though honestly I can’t see how it can be good for them. But once these contaminated bales hit your soil, they can and do affect how your are able (or not) to grow your food. What you thought was safe and organic is not so safe to use.
What can you do? You must find out the history behind that bale of hay or straw before purchase, find an organic grower and stick with them, yes it may cost you more, but how much is your health worth? You might even be able to get a better price on “old” or spoiled hay or straw from an organic grower.
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