Small-Scale Grain Raising
As the next step in my pursuit of easy to grow
grains, I decided to
take everyone's advice and read Small-Scale
Grain Raising by
Gene Logsdon. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, although (as usual)
I felt it glossed over some very important aspects of bringing grain
growing to the backyard. Still, the book made me feel that
growing grain was within my reach.
I have to admit that
before reading Small-Scale
Grain Raising, I
fell into the category of folks who don't really think about where
their grain comes from. The only grain commonly grown in my area
is corn, and I grew up thinking that flour came from the store. I
assumed that grain-growing was an esoteric undertaking requiring vast
amounts of land, equipment, and know-how. And could you really
grow it around here?
But some rough and dirty
math suggests that I could create the three cups of flour I use in my favorite pizza
crust recipe from 22
square feet of soil --- about the size of one of my raised beds.
As I'll explain later, Logsdon has had success threshing and winnowing
grain on the backyard scale.
Many of you are probably
thinking --- why grow grain when you can buy flour so cheaply in the
store? My primary motivation is a bit geeky --- I just like
knowing how to do things myself. But growing your own grain has
other perks. When I read Farmers
of 40 Centuries, I
was a bit jealous of the endless rice straw these farmers seemed to
have on hand for mulching. Straw is a major byproduct of all
kinds of grain-growing, and I am always on the lookout for more sources
Growing your own grain
is also the key to independence from store-bought chicken feed.
And if you grow your own grains, you can make true whole grain flours,
without the healthy germ removed. All in all, it looks like an
endeavor worth experimenting with.
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