Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Growing Your Own Grains

One vital step on the road to self sufficiency is growing your own grains. We are moving in that direction, but only on a small scale. I grow a few grains but not enough to make our bread, just enough to sprinkle on oatmeal or cereal.

I originally started growing grain to use as chicken feed. While it does make good chicken feed, the ones that I grow are also good for people to eat.

My objective for the years to come is to grow all of our own grain needs, organic wheat included. At the moment we don't grow wheat but I am looking into it.
We do grow flax, both the yellow grain variety and the blue variety. Both are good for eating but the blue ones are beautiful enough for the flower bed. They are one of the few true blue flowers and reseed to come back year after year. I do grow a few in the flowerbed, but I grow rows of them in the field. It's hard to keep the deer away from the flax! Just as the pods were full and ripening, they ate a lot of it to the ground. Very frustrating! (Really, I love the deer but they have to stay away from my garden!! ) A big dog helps to keep the deer away but a big dog will destroy the garden as fast as a deer...

There are other grains that I grow but the deer seemed to like the flax the best. I also planted rows of millet, amaranth, and poppies. I am currently doing germination testing on quinoa, red quinoa, and chia. I did plant millet last year but was unsuccessful at getting it to germinate so I won't be planting it again this year.

Quinoa and chia are new to me this year and I don't know if I will get them to grow here. I think quinoa and chia are long season plants, but I have them now sprouting in trays early indoors.

Quinoa is not a real grain but akin to spinach. Chia is a salvia.

Even if I cannot grow the grains to ripeness, I will grow them for sprouts. Sprouts are very nutritious eaten, as is, in a salad or on a sandwich! While we do eat them like this, my aim is to grow the seed for grinding and for sale in the seed store. I would like to see more people on the road to self sufficiency, growing their own grains and providing their own basic food needs.

All are extremely good for you! Both chia and quinoa are very high in protein, just about as complete a protein as it is possible to get in grain. Next year I am going to grow my own organic wheat...maybe.

I have yellow and blue flax seeds and amaranth seed for sale in my seed store. Now that I know the quinoa and chia will germinate well and quickly, I will be offering those soon, too!

Next year I am going to look into growing my own organic wheat. I don't tolerate wheat very well. One of the major side effects of this are migraines. I know from personal experience that I can cut my migraines down to a few a month if I cut out the wheat. It's hard, but if you live with severe migraines on a regular, almost daily, basis, it is worth it. I am hoping that organic wheat will be more easily tolerated.

Growing my own grains is another step for us on the road to self sufficiency. It's an exciting change that we are looking forward to!


The Japanese Redneck said...

You are the busiest person I know of. Wow, good for you.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

I do like to keep busy! There are many reasons for this:
- Anything is better than housework!
- I am hyperactive and easily bored
- As a person gets older, the need to keep moving or ceize up becomes stronger
- I pedal faster in the winter in an attempt to out run SAD. Maybe, if I petal fast enough, I can outrun winter too!

MikeH said...

I don't tolerate the new genetically modified wheat protein molecule (gluten) well.

Interesting. From GMO Compass (http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/grocery_shopping/crops/22.genetically_modified_wheat.html): "Right now, no genetically modified wheat is being grown anywhere in the world. Plans to introduce GM wheat in North America were abandoned in 2004."

Do you have a reference to the modification of wheat gluten?

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

No, I got that information years ago from a few websites doing testing on the GM wheat, previous to 2004. I don't have that info any longer.

I have changed the post and removed that statement snce I no longer have the information and it has changed since then. Thank you for the info!

Wheat gives me severe migraines so I have just assumed that is the reason for it since it was sited as one of the major side effects in the testing.

I can eat all the 100% rye bread, (which has gluten) that I want without side effects. This is one reason that caused me to think that it is the GM wheat specifically and not gluten in general. Could be something else in the wheat.

I have spent the last 10 years working to alleviate severe, dibilitating migraines. Wheat and simple sugars are two triggers that I have been able to illiminate with amazing improvement.

I have no doubt about the wheat causing migraines. "Why" is something I should keep researching. I'd like to find a way around it but, like I said previously, after such a long period it's not that important anymore.

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

I had to remove the reference to sprouting hemp. It is illegal to grow even non THC (cannabis) commercial hemp, in Canada without a license.

In my excitement at seeing all those grains sprouting, I got carried away. ("I don't have hemp sprouting...I don't know what you are talking about...")

Ali said...

That's quite fabulous, I admire those who go that step further into self sufficiency and venture into grain growing. Do you need a lot of space to produce enough for say a loaf of bread?

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Hi Ali! I don't know how much you would need to grow and grind to make a loaf of bread. Still a lot of experimentation to do in that area. In the mean time, these other grains are great on cereal, on yogurt, in salad and baked into things!