Ubiquitous Baling Twine

If you feed animals hay, it is inevitable to acquire a large amount of baling twine.  You know how it is….it’s everywhere.  You stuff it into bags and throw it in the garbage, only to feel guilty when you hear the stories of osprey with it tangled around their feet because they used it in their nest.  It is a fact of farming life.  I wish someone would invent biodegradable baling twine. Really, I do! 

My husband and I like to try to live as sustainably as possible, so finding ways to recycle things we generate as part of farm life is high on our list.  But the baling twine has stumped us.  We use as much as we can for tying things – like our compost bin made from old pallets – tied together with baling twine.  But we literally generate so much of it over the winter it kind of takes over.  There are piles of the stuff everywhere.  I’m getting to the point, I promise.

Yesterday I planted my pole beans in the garden.  They need a trellis.  So I had the brilliant idea to use the bamboo stakes I bought for my tomatoes last year and…..taaa daaa…baling twine!  It turned out really nice and I was able to use 27 strands of baling twine in a beneficial way.  YAY.  Here is how it went.

Start by making little upside down Vs out of your bamboo sticks.  Then tie them together and to each other with baling twine.  To keep it taught, I tied off each end to something stable.  On one end it was a stake with a screw in it, on the other end I used a fence post.  Then I tied twine along the bottom of each side of the upside down V.  Tying it around each stake with a modified half hitch.  Basically, I brought the twine around the stake, running the free end under the end that was attached to the previous stake.  Then bring it over the one tied to the previous stake and pull tight.  Maybe I should make a video….

I ended up with four strands of twine, including the top strand on each side of the trellis.  This is what it looks like…

trellis

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