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No Till Small Scale Grain

 
Tokunbo Popoola
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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I'm looking for ideas to test out small scale no till grain production. i have a small pasture grass area about an acre. i have no drill for no till or anything. I was wondering if anyone has tried to cheat. My uncle told me how they use to save seed to plant teff. by planting it and using plugs of it . like rice. Although they did till the ground it was transplanted. I was wondering if i could get away with doing something just like that but slightly different. transplanting wheat or something like it. directly into small soil piles. ? directly on top of twice cut pasture. or even making a small hole.not sure. Ive pulled this off before for sweet corn. without issue but never with a real grain.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Seems to me like a place to try seedballs.
 
Tokunbo Popoola
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Peter Ellis wrote:Seems to me like a place to try seed balls.


will the seed balls work with inconsistent. water. i live in california . also? how much seed is wasted doing that? i don't have that much seed. should i go out and buy more to pull off the seed balls?
 
Isaac Bickford
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Location: Okanogan County, WA
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Have you read Fukuoka The One Straw Revolution? If not, that's your homework.
 
Tokunbo Popoola
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Izzy Bickford wrote:Have you read Fukuoka The One Straw Revolution? If not, that's your homework.

to be honest.

i read it and still i'm not sure how well it would work during the drought we have had. that's a lot more seed required then i currently have access to. I would need to switch varieties. although i think amaranth would actually do well with that. i don't have enough seed for seed balls. ive got teff, wheat, (small amount of amaranth) possibly some millet i might be able to get my hands on. which is why i was asking about transplants and if not transplants i need to figure out the seed differents to get the desired result. also getting pictures from the seed ball throws from last year to see how they did in the drought we have. droughts aren't pretty. if i had more years putting more organic matter down id worry less about it.
(planting in pasture) im not sure of the results or what is required. i think if i was doing it for more fun i'd probably just do it but i don't have tons of money and i do this for normal food. so knowing what the results might look like. helps me figure things out. grocery wise. I don't normally do grains.
thanks for you help.
 
Matt Smaus
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Fukuoka is amazing, I love Fukuoka, and his technique for no till rice would not, as far as I have been able to figure, work with most cereal grains. The key to his system is that water does the weeding for him -- it sets back the clover without setting back the rice, giving it the lead. I have played around with wheat, barley, and rye on the garden scale quite a bit. I imagine you could transplant small grains into little piles of dirt in a twice-mown pasture -- it's as good an idea as any -- but I can't imagine trying to harvest the wheat with everything else in the pasture all grown up with it. Maybe if you grow it with a mini patch of crimson clover the clover will keep the other pasture plants away from the crown of wheat? I've heard if you don't crowd wheat it will tiller out quite well and make a nice little plant.

You said you've done it with corn and that makes sense, as corn is a tall plant and can outgrow its neighbors, plus it's easier to identify and harvest. Maybe one of the taller grains like quinoa would work? Or a good flint or flour corn? That's the classic gardener's grain.
 
Tokunbo Popoola
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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Matt Smaus wrote:Fukuoka is amazing, I love Fukuoka, and his technique for no till rice would not, as far as I have been able to figure, work with most cereal grains. The key to his system is that water does the weeding for him -- it sets back the clover without setting back the rice, giving it the lead. I have played around with wheat, barley, and rye on the garden scale quite a bit. I imagine you could transplant small grains into little piles of dirt in a twice-mown pasture -- it's as good an idea as any -- but I can't imagine trying to harvest the wheat with everything else in the pasture all grown up with it. Maybe if you grow it with a mini patch of crimson clover the clover will keep the other pasture plants away from the crown of wheat? I've heard if you don't crowd wheat it will tiller out quite well and make a nice little plant.

You said you've done it with corn and that makes sense, as corn is a tall plant and can outgrow its neighbors, plus it's easier to identify and harvest. Maybe one of the taller grains like quinoa would work? Or a good flint or flour corn? That's the classic gardener's grain.


Id love to get my hands on some quinoa within the next 8 days but not sure i can.

drought is the real issue. in order for my home harvest to workout and be somewhat cost effective i need it to be able to be Harvested. which is why i didn't go with seed balls. can't depend on sprouting or it working out in drought. (observation from using clover & vetch seed balls)


I think im gonna go with the transplants. amerathan because it's what i have on hand. i can maybe just use a mix soil as a mound to go on top of the grass itself. it will grow through the grass but it will take awhile. i can put straw on top of the mounds. to sloow it down some
 
Slava On
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Tokunbo.

Where did you buy the teff seeds? I am in Virginia and was looking for teff with no luck.

T.S.
 
John Master
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Location: Wisconsin
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I was looking into trying to grow amaranth, hopefully you can find something that works well for your plot.
 
Tokunbo Popoola
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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Slava On wrote:Tokunbo.

Where did you buy the teff seeds? I am in Virginia and was looking for teff with no luck.

T.S.


i got teff from my uncle who brought them from west africa. i have to plant teff about once every 3 years or so. to keep the seed good. ive never really done tons of grain before. i normally do just enough to fill about half of my grain needs sometimes even less than that.

i ended up using a kind of plug system same as rice. i had the llamas cut down the pasture super low twice then planted the wheat plugs in. i should have planted wheat in the winter here. it's better for wheat. looking back quinoa would have worked better. and ive scored some really nice seed. for winter or spring. ..
 
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