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I must say that I think craigslist is the best things since...well.... anything what an awesome central resource to promote trade amongst locals. I have finally found someone that has large roundbales that are from last year that he is willing to sell for cheap or trade. and he is going to trade me one of my wethers for 6 of them! I can't wait to to put a thick thick layer on the garden.
 
Leah Sattler
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its always such a shame to see all that hay going to waste in feilds. granted the surplus was appreciated during the hay shortage. I'm glad I finally found someone willing to go to the trouble of delivering old hay and for a trade no less. now we have to get some new tires on the tractor so I can push it into the garden! had a complete failure on one front tire the day before we got the hay of course. 

 
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Congrats, Leah! Nice score on the hay. Bummer about the tractor tire though. Life on the farm...life at the barn...it's always something!
 
Leah Sattler
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tractor fixed and I have 3 bales in the garden! i guess I am a cheap date........cuz it sure makes me do the happy dance watching the hay get pushed in place 

hopefully I will have enough hay to preserve the entire garden area for a full year, as I don't expect to feel up to planting the whole garden next spring with a new baby. But I might surprise myself. either way the worms can feast and the weeds can die all fall and winter and I will have likely made a huge improvement in the soil.

I am spreading a bit more each day around the perrenials and few fall plantings and it looks like I will have at least 2 extra bales to fill in the holes as I need to.


 
Gwen Lynn
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Would really like to see some video of "the happy dance"! 
 
Leah Sattler
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are you sure?    it involves rolling in hay naked and chanting to the earthworm goddess while surrounded by a circle of torches at exactly 3am......... ? oh yeah and we have to sacrifice a home grown vegetable......
 
Gwen Lynn
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Oh don't tease me! Now I really want to see it! See it...heck...I'll participate if you'll let me! 
Uh-oh...we used worms the last time we went fishing. I bet I'm in deep worm castings with that earthworm goddess! 
 
pollinator
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Location: France
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you girls are mad 

so is hay better than horse manure?
 
Gwen Lynn
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I don't know that I'd say one is better than the other. It just depends on what your needs are. I'm not a chemist, but I'd guess horse manure puts more nitrogen back into the soil than hay does. I used well rotted manure for my tomato plants this year because my soil is sandy & gets depleted easily. However, the hay is very insulative and helps hold moisture in the ground, which manure does too. I know Leah got a good deal on the hay & it was delivered! Can't turn that down!

Yep, I'm afraid you've found us out. We're as "mad" as a couple of hatters! LOL! 
 
Leah Sattler
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horse manure is great but you can put down too much for some things at least. peas and squash can't seem to get too much. I think a combo is best. hay insulates the soil and breaks down slowly and the earth worms help loosen the soil as they come up to treat themselves.
 
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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we used to be able to get spoiled rye straw for free..but alas..that has gone ..


we used to go and fill up our pick up truck whenever we were able..but this year we called and we had to beg for two bales..and doubt if we'll get any more..ever from them.

also i can't drive the truck cause it is too hard for me to get in and out of with my hip replacement..so if i can't get someone else to go pick up the free stuff..we don't get it..i could have all the free manure i could get..but no one will go get it for me..no matter how much i beg
 
Leah Sattler
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thats a bummer brenda. maybe if you keep your eyes out you will find some to bring it to you like me. I was thrilled to get someone to deliver it. my truck has some weird thing going on with the safety break park release and half the time I can't get it out of park, it also had  flat  so I was especially not looking forward to trying to haul a bunch of bales one by one and I couldn't afford to pay cash for them anyway...... my dh finally got to the wheel though. the lug nuts were so tight that the impact wrench wouldn't get them off. my husband almost couldn't get them. they were so tight it was comical seeing him try to remove them with the 4 way, I'm sure glad it was a slow leak and I wasn't stuck somwhere on the side of the rode with the flat. there was no way I could have broke that wheel off alone.
 
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