Growing grains in New Englandgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
We put in an experimental patch of corn (Golden Bantam) and wheat (unknown variety from Maine) this year, to see how they would do and what it was like growing them. Well, as you can imagine, it is a lot of work! Constant watering due to the drought, intermittent back pain from lots of bending, more work than I expected to harvest the wheat (have not even begun threshing it yet; it's drying in the guest bedroom!). And we haven't even gotten to the pest stage with the corn. I'm talking about really small amounts (the whole plot is no more than 50' square). I'm wondering if any of you have tried growing any grains in the northern states without benefit of petroleum powered equipment or draught animals. I'm particularly interested in knowing which grains require the least caloric output in terms of harvesting and getting useable food at the end. I realize that historically barley has done better up here than wheat; has anyone tried this? Has anyone planted hull-less oats in this sort of climate? In terms of manpower we only have me (45) and my very fit husband (65) who is much more useful than me in terms of work! And a family grain mill that can handle anything except popcorn. Any thoughts welcome. BTW, I just bought another 1000 ibuprofen tabs at Sam's ;-D
-- judy (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 02, 1999
from maine? plant spuds!! eddy
-- eddy (email@example.com), August 03, 1999.
Judy, I've posted this before, but will keep doing it. Sow your wheat by teaspoonsful with spacing like corn. You will then be able to cultivate the wheat with a hoe. This will serve to kill weeds, aerate the wheat and provide a dust mulch. Since the wheat will be growing in clumps a large sheaf can be harvested with a single cut of the sickle. This is the way the Chinese do it...it works and gives higher yields while saving on labor.
-- Sand Mueller (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 03, 1999.
Buckwheat is easy to grow, but a pain to harvest and dehull. soybeans are easy to grow and harvest IMO- get a variety with the proper maturity rating though- for New england.
I have hull-less oats but haven't planted them.Golden bantam is a sweet corn of course- not a drying field corn type of corn. Corn is a pain to grow up here- with all of the heat we've had- mine looks great and is finally at the tassel stage- should actually get corn before frost this year- a miracle in itself!
Check out Gene Logsden's grain book- likely out of print but try to dig up a copy- has great info for small scale grains.
-- farmer (email@example.com), August 06, 1999.