YES!! That last is the one I was thinking of. So you started with white clover, which is a "green manure" and nitrogen rich, then added "wheat bran, kelp meal, a bit of Dr. Earth Veg fertilizer then almost finished unscreened compost ". Then topped with flakes of the good alfalfa mix hay
(much higher in N than straw). But then you also filled in with some actual soil, right?, before you planted in to it?
People do straw bale gardening. https://modernfarmer.com/2013/07/straw-bale-gardening/
But in order to do that, they "condition" the straw first: Two weeks before you plant, you have to get the bales cooking. This means wetting and fertilizing the bales for roughly 10 days to start composting the inner straw. For the first six days, put down 3 cups of organic fertilizer per bale every other day, and water the bales to push the fertilizer down and thoroughly saturate the straw. On the off days, simply water the bales. Days 7 through 9, lay down 1.5 cups of organic fertilizer each day and water. Day 10 put down 3 cups with phosphorus and potassium (bone or fish meal mixed with 50% wood ash works like a charm). That is a LOT of fertilizer added, to help counteract the nitrogen effect we have been talking about.
So summerc, if you are still around and reading all this, tell us more about how you did your straw bale method.