Growing grains


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Are grains something that are worthwhile to grow or are they too difficult to harvest and process?

I got to thinking about it because I was thinking of aquatic veggies and rice and water oats came to mind (even though they're actually grains) and I realized no one ever talks about growing grains.

I always have some amaranth in my yard, or at least I believe that's what it is. It grows wild and I thought it was some kind of weed but after doing some searching online I realized that it might be amaranth. I'll have to see if it produces any seeds this year. Apparently the leaves are also tasty if you boil or fry them.
 
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I raised grains in my lawn last year, just for fun. The city sent me a notice to cut my "weeds" but the wheat was almost ready to cut by then and so I just cut it and gathered it up.

Getting the grain separated from the straw was annoying, as what I had planned did not work. The little grains CLUNG and CLUNG to that straw! I thought I had figured it all out before I planted but it did not work and I do not know why. I tried hitting it and I tried covering it up and walking on it. Both methods got me a little grain but most of the grain was still clinging to the stalk.

I eventually sat down with a big tub and I pulled each straw through the tines of a fork, and the little grains just SHOT out into the tub! This was a bit tedious but not at all bad, especially if I had the TV on. It was no worse than snapping beans, at any rate. I got almost all of the chaff off by taking the grain outside on a windy day and pouring it from one bowl to another, which was easy. I then picked out the last few bits with my fingers.

This winter I have been using the grain by putting it in soup. It takes perhaps 25 minutes to boil it an it will always remain a bit chewy: my husband really loves chewy grain in his beef soup! He has always said that his favorite soup was beef and barley, because the barley does not get too soft. So he loved my beef and wheat soup.

To make the soup I simmered the wheat in a fair amount of water until it was tender. I added a can of beef in gravy to the simmering wheat as well as some raw vegetables. I then simmered it until the vegetables were done.

My husband said it was the best soup he had ever had.

I have picked out a patch of lawn that cannot be seen from the road, and so I will not get another complaint from the city. I think that I will grow wheat again. It was fun!
 
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I've never grown any grains, at least not in my garden. Rice requires some wet ground, very wet. If you have the space and don't think that it will be a problem why not give it a shot?
 
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I have always avoided grains. Growing them seemed like it would be fine to do, but extracting the seed seemed that it would be better done with machinery. As an experiment I think it would be worthwhile, but even if I had the space, I cant imagine ever trying to get enough quantity to feed myself for more than a couple of dishes.
 
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Rice needs at least 1" of water over its roots
Not really, no. I have grown it in a tub just for fun. Rice does just FINE with water over its roots, but as long as the soil is moist it is happy.

Rice is not suited to my area: my growing season is too short and rice didn't really look healthy for me until the weather got warm in June. And, it started sulking in October when the nights got cool. I did get rice one year when we had an early spring, and that gave us a longer growing season.

One thing is very true, though. Rice HATES dry soil. it does not need water over the roots but it will wilt very quickly if all of the soil is dry.
 
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Kansas Terri you might get away with it in a well cared for pot, in a cool climate

Down here it would be called hot rice and would burn up before the pumps water got to it again. Then again we grow it in big fields

Rice would grow best in a tub in full sun with 4" of water over the dirt , & lots of nitrogen every few weeks
 
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I wasn't trying to be ugly Kansas
Have you ever heard how 100s of years ago the little Japanese guys were working in there rice patties getting bit by skeeters , so they started to put carp in the patties to eat them, Some carp ended up with a little color , they kept on breeding them into what we call koi now
 
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I wasn't trying to be ugly Kansas
Have you ever heard how 100s of years ago the little Japanese guys were working in there rice patties getting bit by skeeters , so they started to put carp in the patties to eat them, Some carp ended up with a little color , they kept on breeding them into what we call koi now
Oh, I knew you were not trying to be ugly!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never knew that about carp. I knew that the old Japanese liked to put them in bowls of water so that people could enjoy their beauty, but I never knew how the old custom started.

I also wondered what kept the fish from jumping out of the bowl. I used to have goldfish that jumped out of my water garden! Perhaps the Koi that were able to live long enough to breed were the non-jumpers!
 
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I grew some in large planter and in my veggie area last year. The dogs loved the grass and mowed the planters. The seeds I planted in my fenced garden area gave me some for seeds. Away from herbivore pets.

KT, from your experience I think I will plant my seeds and give it a try for a little food. Thanks for the info.
 
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I'm growing rice and as you can see by my profile pic, I have no standing water. This is because I got a form of rice called "upland rice". So far, everything is growing great (no seed, yet). So if you want to grow rice, but don't like the water aspect, see if you can get some upland rice seeds. They fair well, at least in my garden.
 
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I grow rice and corn. After storing the harvest for myself that I will be needing for the entire year, I sell the remaining grain to the local trader. later I use this money to buy seeds and fertilizer. Rice needs too much water. From the time of plantation until it is ripe, the rice farm must be wet. However, corn needs little water.
 
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Plants that produce grains are not fussy growers with some exceptions. They generally thrive in warm to hot climates and most are reasonably drought tolerant especially those which come from tropical climates like sorghum, millet and grain amaranth. I am looking forward to growing a drought resistant rice called Nerica which does not need irrigation. Grains mostly come from the grass family and these should be intercropped with their counterparts, legumes which enrich the soil. My favourite grains are legumes called dolichos which are quite drought tolerant and have few pests and diseases.
 

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