I did discover a source to get straw this fall! He is a what we consider out here to be a neighbor (his house is about 5 miles away). He delivered 50 small square bales of wheat straw to the farm on September 2, 2016. The only application of herbicides was a product called Harmony the previous March. My research shows a fast breakdown so the straw shouldn't be a problem for growing stuff/cover. Obviously, it doesn't qualify for organic certification but it does work for what I want.
Below you see the beginning of my straw-bale raised beds.
They work perfectly to demarcate where I want the hubby to build the wooden raised beds. Do you see the board leaning on the bales in the center of the picture? He had already started pulling the lumber out of the old stable.
On the right you see the little hoop house with three bales on the either side. I also used straw from one of the bales to cover the landscaping material. Just to the left of that is the original straw bale garden with it's nine new bales in place.
Then there are four more sets of nine bales to make beds without supports built in.
Not only can the hubby see exactly where to build the raised beds, I was able to test my placement using the riding mower to be sure I had left enough room between and around them for mowing.
It's just about time for me to be adding the fertilizer and water to jump start the microbes to turn the center of the bales into nutrient rich compost!
More photos once the wood is in place.