Needful Nuisance

My barn is your everyday run of the mill barn complete with the needful things to do, well, barn things. This space contains the following essential items. A feeding trough, poop tote (with old sheet hanging on it.) An old sheet? Ya, great for protecting your hay from dust. Then there is the old tarp in the back that covers the dirt floor to help keep moisture and flash flood like rains from the getting the hay wet. Oregon, need I say more? What you can’t see is the old recycled wood pallets the hay sits on. They’re used for an extra measure against moisture and for air circulation. The concrete blocks? For small grandchildren to help feed and pet the animals. And there you have it, the typical barn you would see most anywhere, containing the same needful items that make it functional.

And oh, the wheelbarrow holding just a remnant of it’s former mass of Poly twine?

You will see that hanging around most barns too. Gathering on any post, hook, bin, or barn surface that will hold the evil stuff. Just try and avoid it. Can’t be done. You just turn your back and the pile grows exponentially.

It’s a dadgum nuisance!

Before the agricultural use of Poly twine, sisal was the material of choice. The intro of Poly was and is a two edged sword. No more hay loss due to rotting breaking sisal twine, a savings. But random poly ( there is random poly to be found on every farm) jams and damages farm equipment ending in expensive repairs. That random poly has cost the wool textile industry in Australia dearly. It takes a constant crew of pickers to inspect and remove tiny (almost microscopic) bits of poly from the finished woolen goods. Some of it is unrepairable. Unfortunately there isn’t an outlet for the recycling of poly. It’s usual way of disposal is the landfill where it will live forever intact. Or burning which turns it into an immediate air pollutant because of it’s chemical and oil composition. So while the debate continues on the universal use of poly, the farmer, rancher will find useful ways to live with the nuisance. Believe you me, there is only so much you can cleverly do with the accumulation of poly, but here are a few suggestions.

  1. a makeshift gate latch
  2. garden plant ties
  3. tarp tie downs.
  4. rope (tie together for a continuous piece)
  5. emergency fence repair
  6. for bundling loose cords and hoses to hooks.
  7. weave into a durable floor mat
  8. macrame a plant hanger
  9. tie end to end until you have the worlds largest bright orange ball of poly
  10. I’ve run out, what are your clever ideas?

While you are brainstorming, keep in mind the dangers of allowing too much accumulation of poly on your farm or ranch. This newsletter article from Jessica Jahiel of Horse Sense warns horse owners of the life threatening issues associated with poly twine laying about willy nilly. Being vigilant in keeping your farm or ranch free of poly could save you financially and emotionally. All twine, sisal, hemp and poly have been reportedly associated with accidental injury and/or death among livestock and humans. But being there is no other way to purchase hay bales without the twine, I would opt for the natural hemp or sisal if it were possible. At least the natural fibers of hemp and sisal (if not treated) are more easily broken down and composted . And you know how I feel about

I guess my wild mass of poly is free to grow with abandon for the time being.

Unless you can answer number 10 above…times a zillion..

Please enlighten me, I’m all ears.

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