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News Link • Agriculture

Seeds: Straw bale gardening catches on because of ease


"I've talked to lots of feed stores; they can't keep the bales in stock," said author Joel Karsten. "Everybody wants them for gardens."

From his Minnesota home base, Karsten has become the nation's straw bale gardening guru.

His new book – "Straw Bale Gardens: The Breakthrough Method for Growing Vegetables Anywhere, Earlier and With No Weeding" (Cool Springs Press, 144 pages, $19.99) – debuted this spring and immediately hit Amazon's list of best- selling garden books.

"I've been doing this for 20 years," said Karsten, who was initially inspired by straw bales on his family's farm. "For the first 14, I couldn't get anybody to care about it no matter what I did. But in the past six years, it's just exploded.

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