I have been hearing some buz about rice growing in northren america, mainly in Vermont,http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/840980225/growing-rice-in-vermont. After watching the video and poking around their website i got quite excited and started doing some basic research on rice and rice breeding in Hokkiado , one of Japans northern most islands at a similar latitude to north america. http://d-arch.ide.go.jp/je_archive/english/society/wp_je_unu22.html.
Shortly after the last Japanese civil(1863) war the population of this northern island grew considerably and a demand for local grain did as well. A horizontal farmer driven breeding program ensued and rice was cultivated in local fields that had tons/hectare that were on par with southerly parts of Japan.
The images below compare Sapporo and Portland climate(but sadly not average humidity), which means rice production could be possible. It would be great to find some rice from Hokkaido and make some paddies! I am will be in Cascadia for some time and this is where my interest and biases are. I am envisioning rice paddies with large rocks for heating up the water in the early spring, some what like Sepp ponds, and perhaps at the edge of theses paddies could be wapato with camas plantings and various nut trees for stabilizing the terraces. Hopefully these winter dreams can come true!
I will no post some further information that i have collected in the past 24 hours.
http://www.jstor.org/pss/3743016 an artical on rice growing in colonial usa
http://books.google.com/books?id=-9EBuQK-NRQC&pg=PA220&lpg=PA220&dq=rice+from+hokkaido+varieties&source=bl&ots=GG_PyXxywg&sig=NQbhd7q1Xyf0C0woUzVWuErHZ-E&hl=en&ei=Lv7eTpbAFYmTgwe14bDbBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=rice%20from%20hokkaido%20varieties&f=false More info on Hokkaido and effects of rice.
http://www.hinoma.com/maps/meshmap/vegemap.gifland use in present day Hokkaido
http://d-arch.ide.go.jp/je_archive/english/society/wp_je_unu22.html history of rice in Hokkaido
i grew rice here in california this year, i dry cropped it using a mix of methods between fukuoka and a method called SRI(system of rice intensification) it was only a trial year and i did well. this next spring i will be doing much more.
good luck on finding quality seed from good kinds of rice. the most youll be able to find is American brown rice. I ended up buying some expensive high quality rice and sprouting it like you would wheatgrass, then dividing them up and planting when old enough. this way mainly to give me seed that i can experiment with seedballs.
i am also assuming that like fukuoka my rice will evolve over the years to fit my climate and method of growing. so over time the problem of growing rice not suited to my climate will go away. there will just be need to expect a few years of not so great results.
The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
FYI, Hokkaido isn't the only colder climate in Japan. The tohoku region that was so devastated by the 3/11 disaster grows plenty of rice. Niigata prefecture is famous for rice. Tohoku isn't as cold as Hokkaido, but more humid, with snows november through march.
As for seed, why not ask for some of what they are growing in VT?
Thats our kickstarter and the variety of rice we are growing is Hayayuki. Rice is a tough thing to move around the country let alone importing it from outside the country. We sourced our rice from the USDA Germplasm system http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/. We will be selecting rice for our area trying to create our own variety that we will be able to distribute to others in vermont. You only receive 5 grams to start and some of it wont be viable but after one year you have more than enough rice to plant a larger plot. My dad tried sourcing rice seed for himself so we would have more to test the DIY huller we are developing and had to go through a lot of folks to find a rice that would work.
jbreezy McCoy wrote:My dad tried sourcing rice seed for himself so we would have more to test the DIY huller we are developing and had to go through a lot of folks to find a rice that would work.
Please tell more about the rice huller.
Are you aware of the Universal Nut Sheller - is your design similar at all? One of my colleagues did work with them, and his students tested a bunch of variant designs. I've heard of a simple sheller for millet, too - not sure how well that works.
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