Tag: 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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Tillage Trials

By Ben Hoffman Minimal tillage is essential for healthy, productive soils. In a seven-year study at the University of Western Australia, total organic carbon in the top 4 inches of soil increased by 1.7 tons/acre with no-till and 1 ton under conservation tillage but decreased by 0.2 tons under rotary tillage. (“Tillage, microbial biomass and

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Buckwheat

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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Rice

Rice and azolla growing at Wild Folks Farm in Benton. Ben Rooney photo Rooney harvests rice with a scythe. Corallina Breuer photo By Ben Rooney Wild Folks Farm is entering its fourth season of lowland integrated rice production in Benton, Maine. Lowland refers to paddies. We have nine, with a gravity-fed water system. The paddies comprise about

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Ethiopian Highlands

A farmer shows his seed-saving garden. By John Bliss Photos by the author Last November, as the farming season in Maine was winding down, I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia. Our harvest at MOFGA-certified organic Broadturn Farm was tucked away in our storage coolers, and the crew was preparing for winter. Tractors and implements were

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Rusted Rooster

The Rusted Rooster Farm family, left to right (with ages as of Oct. 2017): Sean, Chloe (3), Jackson (5), Sandra, Lacey (17 months) and Shannon (6). Photo by Lily Piel Mowing a cover crop of peas and oats for cattle feed with an 826 International. Photo by Sean O’Donnell Sean at work in his John

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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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