Last night someone mentioned a northern variety of Japanese rice being grown by some permacultuallists,... gobbly gook, dohicky, alien mind wipe...That's about all the information I have to work with. Is there a master of permies out there that can point me in the right direction? Cold climate rice. Not particularly, wild rice. This would also be for Atlantic Canada. Not the balmy west coast. Thanks in advance
They are growing rice in Vermont.
I picked up some rice seed to try in Cincinnati Ohio.
I am trying
Zhe 733 - very early maturing, high yield, excellent disease resistance, short plant height, from China
Hsinchu 54 - early maturing, good yield, moderate disease resistance, medium plant height, from Taiwan
Rondo - late maturing, would not likely produce seed, but produces a lot of leaves if you are looking for feeding dabbling ducks
"Growing rice in Vermont is possible and you can do it, too. Come hear Sjon Welters, of Rhapsody Natural Foods, speak on how he has grown rice over the past 6 years and find out the details on rice cultivation - from a simple bucket to paddy-style. Sjon Welters started off growing rice with 30 seeds he'd gotten during a rice growing workshop at a NOFA conference 7 years ago. Now his family is eating their own Cabot-grown rice planted in paddies in the back of Rhapsody's tempeh shop. A Transition Town program."
I have not heard of him before, but he might be able to help you out.
Had you seen this article in the Canadian Organic Grower's magazine of organic rice being grown in Nova Scotia?
It's no longer accessible in the archives - too bad - I didn't make a note of the growers' names. Maybe it will give you a lead to follow anyways.
The key limitation to growing rice in northern climates is not heat as much as it is day length. Unlike a lot of modern wheat varieties (such as those introduced all over the world during the "Green Revolution"), as far as I know, most (perhaps all) rice is photoperiod sensitive. That is, growth is affected by how much daylight it gets.
I used to live in China, where I learned about rice grown in the country's most northern province called Heilongjiang (黑龙江, or "Black Dragon River, which is a pretty cool name). Rice is being grown on the 45th parallel, which is actually further north than Hokkaido, Japan. In fact, the border of Vermont and Quebec is at the 45th parallel also, so it makes sense that rice can be grown in Vermont (as mentioned in a previous post).
Where I live in Manitoba, Canada, at the 50th parallel, a good friend tried growing upland rice (not wet paddy rice, but a dry field variety). Initially it grew fine, but then over time it became sickly and never reached maturity. Our guess is that it was becoming sick due to an imbalance in light-dark periods (i.e., because of photosensitivity). The funny thing is that, at first blush, one might assume that rice wouldn't grow in Canada because it's too cold, but heat wasn't the problem. It was definitely photosensitivity.
Another big aspect of growing rice in more northern climates (at least in Heilongjiang) is carefully managing the seedlings. It's actually very mechanized (and not very permie).
I'd be interested to try some of the seed used in Vermont. I've often thought it would be fun to acquire a bit of the seed from Heilongjiang and see if it took.
Also, as an aside, this is my first post on this forum, and I couldn't help but chuckle at the way that this region thing is set up. There are a dozen shades of gray for the different regions of the US. Canada is divided into two: Ontario, and then, Canada, Alaska and Greenland. That pretty much sums up most people's perspectives, including people from Ontario.
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