Amit Enventres

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since Mar 24, 2011
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Recent posts by Amit Enventres

Hi! Congrats on your first corn crop! I am in Ohio and I've grown several varieties in small quantities. The toppling over thing is something I attribute to bad breeding. All my store-bought seed result in toppled corn. My saved "Indian corn" seed rarely topples. I peek at my corn while on the stock by peeling back the shucks a little. That lets me see how I'm doing on pollination, what diseases are a potential issue, and know if the kernels ready. If they are plump and soft enough to burst with my fingernail, then I figure I can eat it fresh. If it's harder than that, I know it's going to be saved seed or ground up for corn meal. As for the little beetles, do you have a photo? If not,  try googling corn beetle and see if you can find what you're looking for. There's lots of things that like eating corn besides humans. Generally if you see a pest once though, you'll see them again.
Great question! I've been working towards self sustainability for years and the switch of the staples is probably the hardest. Staples are a few crops that store well so you can use them whenever, and they are grown in enough quantity to meet your caloric intake and have small enough negative constituents that you can eat tons without huge side affects.

In my ideal there wouldn't be 5 "staples", but instead much more variety. Pecans for pie crust, squash spiralized for noodles (squash is ab annual, but here it grows in trees and just about every where you let it), and a diet that doesn't rely on staples. That probably means rethinking your way of cooking. Pumpkin pie may be more or less the same, but you might rely more on trail mix for snack rather than pretzels or potato chips. You might eat a smoothie for breakfast rather than a slice of toast, etc.

As for why else you might not be eating them: they aren't as heavily subsidized here in the U.S. so their upfront cost to consumers is more. Almond flour is significantly more expensive than wheat flour, though I can't imagine it taking significantly more effort to make it. It will also go bad faster since it has a higher fat and protein content.

Here I am working on making acorns easy. We eat a lot of winter squash- stuffed pumpkin, pie pumpkin, spiralized pumpkin, soup pumpkin, stew, stir fry, etc, and I am awaiting patiently for my fruit anf nut trees to produce better.  I also harvest maple seeds, which are a nice crunch bit to add to salad. However, there's no staple crop because I plant such a variety.
1 month ago
Jan,  does home-grown rye taste like the rye you get in stores? I hate that rye flavor, other than that it sounds like a great crop. Triticale is supposed to merge the best qualities of wheat and rye, but it's a hybrid and I like saving my seed.
I think the confusion of buckwheat may stem from several factors:

1. There are multiple species whose common name is buckwheat. California buckwheat is very different than your "common" buckwheat.

2. There are many plants that can host nitrogen fixing bacteria, but only the legume family is known for fixing significant quantities to provide nitrogen to themselves and subsequent crops.

That said, I find buckwheat processing easy because I processes common buckwheat with the hulls on in small quantities and suffered no ill affects.  The toxin present in buckwheat needs to be eaten in large quantities. The grain to hull ratio on buckwheat pretty well insures that, I think.
1 month ago
Dan, why not grow some for the festival and use the mill at the museum? You might be able to get others to process it for you that way.

William,  I would suspect if a commercial grade sugar cane juicer would work,  then so would a non- commercial grade sugar cane processor, but I haven't tried. I do know the extraction methods and plants are very similar. A quick search showed me both and some advertised as working on both and a variety of price ranges. Given my average, it's not worth even $80 (low end) for the 1/2 pint I'd get a year. However,  I've been contemplating one of those dough flatteners/slicers used for pasta, tortillas, dumplings, crackers,  etc. If well built, I will try it on my sorghum and report back.  Even if I don't get a syrup, sorghum seed is worth my time.... though one would think there aught to have been invented another way by now...hmm...
1 month ago
Amazon has a number of sugar cane juice extractors in the $200 range.  I believe soghum stems are significantly softer and thinner than sugar cane. I am wondering if a good pasta dough crank thing would work. Anyone try that yet? Any reason yay or nay?
1 month ago
Because sorghum grows so well here and corn is one of our staples, I would like to process the stems for a natural sugar, but I don't know if there's a way without specialty equipment. I tried an internet search, and wasn't able to find anything satisfactory. Someone said just boil the whole thing. I tried it.  About 2 days of boiling later I had about 2 tbs of something that was dark, mostly bitter, and a bit of sweetness.  This was from about 3 gallons of stems chopped to 3" chunks. I have another gallon of stems in the freezer awaiting the next great idea.  Anyone have that great idea?

When I chew the raw stems they taste like sugar cane and the squirrels actually seek them out instead of the seed because they are that good, so I know it's there.
1 month ago
That looks alot like my grain amaranth.  The black seeds are from the red amaranth plants. Have you tried using the seeds?
1 month ago