Baling pine straw by hand can be done by using a hand-powered box baler. A box baler will produce 30- to 40-pound bales of hay by compressing it. If you work at a steady pace, you should be able to make about 100 bales per day. Hand-powered bales are easy to make. You will be able to buy all the items from a hardware store. However, you may also rent the baler from a farm equipment store.
Load pine straw into the hand baler using a rake. If you see any leaves, pine cones or sticks, remove them while loading the baler. Push each load down with your hands to compact it.
Put the plunger in the box of the hand bale and push the handle down as far as you can. Lift the plunger out of the box.
Pull the string from the back of the hand baler forward, through the top of the slot on the door. Make sure the string is even over the top of the bale. Give the strings coming out from the bottom a tug too to tighten them around the bale. There should be two strings on top of the bale and two strings below the bale.
Place the plunger back in the hand baler box and pull down. Hold it down with your leg to continue applying pressure while you tie the two ends of string on either side together. Cut off any unneeded string.
Lift the plunger up, open the front door and remove the pine straw bale.