Category: Grain

Growing Grain on the Ludders Family Homestead

Jessica and Ross Ludders and their sons take a break from homesteading in Exeter, Maine. Some of the homestead plots that grow vegetables and grains A given plot supports pigs one year, grains the next and vegetables in the third year. By Sonja Heyck-Merlin Photos by Ross and Jessica Ludders “It was like magic. I

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Low tech Grain Production

Banatka wheat with a dense understory of Dutch white clover, and no weeds. Hand harvesting Banatka wheat. Temporary storage in a drying cart. Threshing uses a modified MacKissic chipper-shredder. By Ben Hoffman After struggling for 10 years trying to grow and process cereal grains, I joined forces with an equally frustrated Bob Mowdy. We worked

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The author’s mother in a field of buckwheat at the author’s grandfather’s farm in Canaan in the early 1900s. Photo courtesy of Joyce White Buckwheat grown as an alley crop in a young orchard at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center. English photo By Joyce White When a neighbor extolled the health benefits of buckwheat, I

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Banatka Wheat

Banatka wheat (8- x 8-inch spacing) with a Dutch white clover understory to the right of the range pole; Warthog on the left. Sowing Dutch white immediately after planting Banatka produced a beautiful, weed-free understory, but frost seeding Warthog was not so good. In a subsequent sowing of Banatka in both plots, the right side

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Small Scale Processing

Threshing Jon Strieff’s ‘Sirvinta’ winter wheat at the Common Ground Country Fair. Photos by Geoff Johnson By Mark Fulford The lack of right-sized grain and bean processing equipment for Maine’s many small farms is a decades-long problem that is especially acute today, as demand for locally-grown dry crops is strong and enthusiasm high among both

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Kneading Conference

Barak Olins of Zu Bakery, making bread at the Kneading Conference. Photo by Amy Halloran. By Amy Halloran The Kneading Conference ( began in 2007 with a few tents and mobile ovens in a church parking lot. Now those tents and ovens congregate at the Skowhegan fairgrounds each July, drawing people from all over the

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Crop Rotation

Rotations with winter and spring cereal grains have good possibilities in Maine, said Dr. Matt Liebman at a MOFGA-sponsored talk at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in January. The keys to successful cereal production, he continued, are adequate weed control – especially paying attention to mechanical weed control – and adequate soil fertility. Regarding winter

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Producing Barley

By Rick Kersbergen Waldo County Cooperative Extension Note: Much of this information is taken from UMCE bulletin #2163 of the same title, written by Matt Williams, Ed Plissey and Greg Porter. Maine’s cool climate and uniform rainfall favor barley production. Barley rapidly develops an extensive root system and needs a moderately deep, well-drained soil. Timing

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Jim Amaral of Borealis Breads. Leavening the “Taste of Maine” Experience By Jean English Jim Amaral and his wife, Dolores Carbonneau, started Borealis Breads in 1993 in Waldoboro. What began as a “Mom and Pop” operation, with 12 breads and about 12 wholesale accounts, quickly grew, so that by 1995 Amaral had bought a bakery

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