This week, I found a listing for straw bales that looked really promising. When I called Gary, the farmer selling the bales, he knew just what I wanted. Almost before I could describe our plans, he was saying, "Oh yeah, this is what you're lookin' for—baled nice and tight, no seeds or nothin', plastic twine." I later learned he'd provided bales for the Strawbale Cafe, a timber framed strawbale restaurant we visited after our first round of hunting.
A quick trip to see the bales confirmed they fit all of our criteria, and so we decided to go for it! Yay! We're headed back to the midwest to visit friends and family for a month in a few days, so Gary is going to wait to deliver the goods until sometime in January. We'll store them under the grindbygg until this Spring. Now it's time to order some windows and doors!