Author Topic: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials  (Read 1698 times)

Steph S

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Re: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials
« Reply #15 on: 2022-03-26, 02:24:52 PM »
Just wanted to update that I emailed Dan at Salt Spring, and he says that the Blue Tinge Emmer is a landrace with lots of variation expected.  They don't select at all, just replant for diversity maintenance.  I saved the tall and blue one separately so will see whether I can establish tall/bluer vs short/redder lines from this one.   Also the Akmolinka is a landrace they received by that name and have been growing for 20 years - it came to my attention while looking for wheat accessions that there is another "Akmolinka" wheat in the gene banks which is perhaps a hexaploid bread wheat and not the poulard type widely described as Akmolinka.  Either way it was productive and lodge resistant.
After shucking the wheats, yield of Akmolinka was about twice that of the Blue Tinge Ethiopian.
The grain of the BTE is a lovely dark color and looks delicious...  I haven't eaten any but it's certainly appealing.

Ironically my big disappointment for the season's harvest was to find that the Terra oats were on the order of 50% free threshing and a LOT of hulled grains.  I still have a big bag of them that aren't threshed, but I did start a selection process as described by Joseph, to pick out grains only from free threshing heads to replant.  Still have a few to do for a patch, but will also try Baton in 2022 in case the Terra are too stable for the amount of hulls.

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials
« Reply #16 on: 2022-03-26, 09:43:07 PM »

I was super disappointed that my so called "hulless" oats were inedible, due to having so many hulls that couldn't be removed by my normal threshing techniques. I've been growing it for over a decade now. The past three generations, I put a lot of effort into selecting for non-shattering, and easy threshing.  The non-shattering trait has done well for some time. Every seed that I planted this year, came from a plant that easily threshed 100%. I planted into a widely spaced grid, so that I can evaluate each plant individually this fall. I hope this is the great year!

I planted a non-shattering rye today. A couple of plants, out of thousands last year, that didn't shatter. They were harder than usual to thresh. Yikes!!! But they ended up being free threshing by my normal methods. I also planted a couple of sibling groups of rye that were off-type from the rest of the plants (more robust). I didn't plant bulk seed, because there is enough that volunteered.


Steph S

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Re: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials
« Reply #17 on: 2022-03-27, 01:22:56 PM »
Well I wish you success Joseph!  indeed a good year.  We'll have to compare notes on the oats at the end of season.   It was a huge disappointment to find them so hard to thresh or even shuck by hand.  Growing oats would be a no brainer since we would eat them and they seem well adapted to our climate, but the hulls are a real problem.

My grain planting time is creeping up soon, looks like we may get a proper thaw in the first week of April.
I do like that about spring grains, that you get out and plant them before anything else. 

Greenie DeS

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Re: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials
« Reply #18 on: 2022-03-29, 08:33:05 AM »
This inspired me to do some threshing last night. Akmolinka (salt spring) was relatively productive for me too. I suspect I won't be growing my ble de arcour from pr seeds again, I gave up on getting the hulls off. Rivet wheat from pr was heavily predated by chickens so not much seed from it, I'll try again. Prelude wheat was earliest and productive. Purple dolma barley from experimental farm network is very pretty, not too bad to thresh, but it and the hordeum nigrinudum from pr seeds are apparently very tasty for my cat, he's been stealing the ears and chewing on them. More to come.

Planted a couple seeds of sumire mochi, dango mugi, wintri, borolo, and szalkas triticale and masan naked barley 1 in pots with a bunch of good soil for tillering. Will need some attention around pollination time, I'm hoping the first two and the next three can be convinced to cross a bit.

Glutinous barley seems really great in theory.

Steph S

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Re: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials
« Reply #19 on: 2022-03-29, 03:50:47 PM »
I was wondering about the Rivet, whether it is for spring or fall sowing.  Most rivet wheat is fall sown, but after reading Vilmorin's condemnation of 'Miracle wheat' - which is what the pr seeds one looks like, a branched head - I was left thinking I probably should spring plant it instead.

Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials
« Reply #20 on: 2022-03-29, 05:47:01 PM »
I've had decent-ish results with the Chusi Gandruk barley from the Kusa seed society's site (note, Salt Spring has acquired a lot of their seeds and are offering them individually [instead of the pre-selected multipacks Kusa does, so people might do better there). It grew pretty well for me and I got a decent amount of grain back (unfortunately, something like 99% of the grain I harvested disappeared at some point (maybe it got thrown out with the trash) so I don't have any to share myself.)

It's pretty resilient, and the gene base is VERY wide (and don't worry about the "seven feet tall" thing, they don't get that big here.) In fact, it is SO wide that you basically have to evaluate the stuff on a head by head basis.

My usual problem with grains isn't so much the wet and mold as the insects. By the time they are ripe, nearly all types of grain I grow have been so ravaged by aphids and other plant suckers that the amount of good grain is minimal, and, more importantly to me, the heads have become rather ugly (that's important to me because, as I know I will NEVER be able to grow enough of any grain to make a meal of it (I just don't have the land space) most of my grain is destined for use in dried flower arrangements, so I need nice, clean, well shaped heads.  Kusa's einkorn and two emmers* did pretty well, but that has been about it for true wheat (and I had such hopes for the shot wheat).

*Technically three, as the einkorn Kusa sells has a small amount of seeds that have naturally doubled their n over the years, and when an einkorn doubles it's n, it becomes an emmer, by definition.   

Greenie DeS

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Re: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials
« Reply #21 on: 2022-03-30, 09:10:37 AM »
Pelisser - absolutely gorgeous heads, significantly harder to thresh.

I sowed my rivet in spring, it ended up in with some tree roots and then the chickens got it. I got more than I put into the ground. Will try again just because the heads look so neat, branched as you say. Do you have a link to Vilmorin's writing Steph?

I've sourced most of my grain from PR seeds or, this year, great lakes staple seeds (they have a lot of the Kusa seeds as well). Salt spring didn't impress me with their selection a year or two ago, I should look again.

Seven feet of straw would be a lovely biomass boon to go along with the grain; what are your growing conditions, Jeremy?


Jeremy Weiss

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Re: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials
« Reply #22 on: 2022-03-30, 01:25:07 PM »
Not very good ones. What grain I grew I grew in pots, because my soil is more or less useless (it's very rocky, and, due to the constant dropping of oak leaves and hemlock needles, very. very acidic (to the point where it take a whole bag of lime each year just to get anything to grow). Also pots allow me to put the stuff on the patio, which is about the only spot that actually gets any sun.

Steph S

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Re: Requesting some basic cultivation advice for my grain trials
« Reply #23 on: 2022-03-30, 05:15:51 PM »
http://museum.agropolis.fr/pages/documents/bles_vilmorin/index.htm

Google translate is funny in places, but the key information still shines through in "Les Meilleurs Bles".  I  find it easier to read in English.
The Rivet wheat and the Poulard are referred to as "chicken" in translation - so no surprise your chickens loved it and got most (as they're supposed to).  :)