The Bible instructs that gleanings should be left in the field for the poor; " neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger" (Leviticus 23:22) David Ward has a better idea that may help the poor even more. He just won $ 25,000 from the History Channel for inventing the "Modern Marvel of the Year" and we think it fabulous that such a low-key but possibly very important idea won the prize. "StrawJet harvests straw in the field before it has been crushed or damaged, orients the stems so they are all parallel, adds a clay based binding material, compresses the bundle and binds it into a continuous length of 2 inch cable using a polyester yarn. Once the clay has dried, the cable becomes a rigid cylinder." Result: a sort of prefab straw bale building material. Put a few together with a bit more cement and you get beams and panels.
UPDATE: Oops! TreeHugger is so fast on breaking news that we did not realize that Warren wrote about this earlier and better. The breaking news here is that It won!
At a more industrial scale: (we just love those models!)
(1) A modified combine making cables and harvesting grain simultaneously.
(2) Loom truck collecting cables, cutting them to 8 foot lengths, weaving them into a mat and rolling the mat for ease of handling.
(3) Mat ready for use and behind the roll a stack of mats cut to 8ft.x 8ft with interlocking ends to add strength to the joint.
(4) Unroller and laminator. Each pass of unroller adds another layer to composite wall. Layers are pinned with bamboo and bonded with a matrix material. Alternate layers are oriented at right angles by inserting the 8 foot sections of interlocking mats shown in (3). This provides longitudinal strength in both directions.
Congratulations on a great idea! ::Strawjet