Sam Hubert wrote: I was wondering if anybody had any experience with making bean flour, using potatoes in place of grains, or any other insight on alternative grains that may require less acreage and fit more easily into the permaculture garden/homestead.
Anybody who is not American probably has the experience you are looking for. Particularly Asians. If you go to a market specializing in Chinese foods, you will see noodles made from sweet potato flour, rice flour, bean flour, barley flour, and a whole lot more. If you go to an Indian grocery store, you can buy sacks of bean flour, sorghum flour, ragi (another type of millet) flour, chickpea flour, etc. Our local Korean grocery store carries acorn flour, and it is a good product (no leaching of tannins required).
I have recently gotten on an alternative flours kick, and it is fun experimenting. We Americans are spoiled by the properties we have come to expect from bleached white flour, so we really don't know what to do when given a sack of some other type of powdery starch. Do we put it into a bowl with an egg and some buttermilk and make pancakes? That pretty much works for any flour, and you get some pancakes with interesting tastes and textures.