Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [fukuoka_farming] Anybody tried growing Basmati rice? Plus an introduction.

Expand Messages
  • Steve Gage
    Hi Faith, I believe that part of the reason for flooding the paddies is that it hurts the weeds and pests more than the rice. Also, I believe there is some
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 3, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Faith,

      I believe that part of the reason for flooding the paddies is that it
      hurts the weeds and pests more than the rice. Also, I believe there is
      some nitrogen connection as well - I think there's a kind of
      bacteria/algae thing that gets going in the flooded paddy that does
      N-fixation. Living in New Hampshire, USA, I've never tried growing rice,
      flooded or not :-)

      I've been lurking here for quite a while, but this is my first post, so
      I suppose I ought to introduce myself. I live in Central New Hampshire,
      a place with a rather short growing season, so we are always fiddling
      with various modes of "season extension". I am simple, so I just use
      coldframes to jumpstart things a bit. I tried the whole growlights in
      the basement thing, but that's just a bit too fussy for me at the
      moment. I try as best I can to apply the attitude of M. Fukuoka to my
      garden, but as I'm sure we all know, what works in semi-tropical Japan
      doesn't necessarily work in Northern New England. However...

      I am strictly organic - no chemicals whatsoever. I am no-till (once beds
      are made), except the incidental soil disruption that comes with
      transplanting. I have built raised beds, which I mulch heavily with
      spent hay and whatever weeds I feel I have to pull, along with my crop
      wastes. I trim dead plants off at ground level, leaving the roots to
      feed the soil and form channels. I keep very good track of what I
      planted where and when, so I can rotate my crops intelligently. I have a
      big draft horse (I use her mostly for logging my woodlot, and just
      driving around for fun) that supplies all the manure that I and several
      neighbors can possibly use! Between the horse and my 4 sheep and umpteen
      chickens, fertility inputs are no problem, and I always have waste hay
      to use for mulch.

      My main crops are garlic (just harvested yesterday - best crop ever!),
      peas, lettuce, radishes, various beans, tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers,
      zucchini, spinach, chard, kale, carrots, etc. Been doing it this way for
      12 years now, and results are excellent. I have fresh bush beans from
      mid-July to mid-September, and I freeze and pickle tons of 'em. I store
      lots of pinto and black beans, and I make lots of cucumber pickles. I
      put up loads of tomatoes, and I also make lots of pesto and gazpacho,
      and freeze it - great flavors of Summer to pull out of the freezer in
      the middle of January up here!

      My soil, which started out as a rocky, silty-sandy, almost-orange
      glacial afterthought is now a foot deep of rich black, well, soil. Full
      of worms and good things, and occasional bad actors - cutworms and slugs
      are my biggest pest problems. My garden is small enough that I can just
      pick slugs in the morning. I also pull the mulch way back from tender
      young lettuces in the Spring, and that helps a lot. Sometimes tomato
      hornworms come into my garden (any day now?), and I need to get up early
      every morning to pick 'em. But they're easily beaten. Weeds are no
      problem at all, what with all the mulch, and weeding is very casual.

      I am an ecologist by training, so I love to just sit in my garden at the
      end of the day with a beer and just enjoy all the life going on. The
      insect diversity is astonishing. I teach various ecology courses at
      Granite State College, including a course called Sustainable Gardening.
      Many of my students have some vague idea about "organic gardening" and
      whatnot. They currently garden in the "spank it hard with a rototiller
      and lay down the Miracle-Gro" mode, and seem to understand that there's
      a less violent way. I always warn them that the conversion from chemical
      to organic gardening takes a year or three for a real ecosystem to set
      in and come to equilibrium. So, for folks just starting out, don't take
      one year's disaster as meaning that organic/no-till/Fukuoka methods
      don't work.

      Wow, I've been rambling! Anyway, I've really enjoyed reading all of the
      insights being shared on this list, and I hope I can contribute
      something or other. Are there any other northern growers out there?

      Cheers,

      - Steve



      Faith Arnold wrote:

      >Hi John,
      >
      >Market growers, huh? Do you let people come by for a tour of your facility?
      >
      >Back to the subject of rice... there is something I haven't figured out yet from Fukuoka's book.. he states that flooding the rice plants in paddies weakens the rice plants by rotting off the roots. So why do people do it? The only indication I got is that the rice needs so much water that it will have its growth stunted if it doesn't get enough, so people flood their paddies just to prevent a water stress situation. Is that what he is saying, or did I get that wrong??? He also says that he only floods his paddy in the spring to weaken the rapidly growing clover, to give the rice a better chance to compete with it. Is it possible that no rice actually needs to be grown in a paddy, that they just need abundant water? Maybe if paddy rice didn't have some of their roots rotted off, they wouldn't need so much water! Maybe with mulching and healthy soil, rice wouldn't need any more water than any other rapidly growing crop, say like corn?
      >
      >Thanks!
      >
      >Faith Arnold
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: John Warner
      > To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 10:15 AM
      > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Anybody tried growing Basmati rice?
      >
      >
      > Hello Faith and all Fukuokans!
      >
      > I have not grown rice myself but have considered it. Decided not to bother because of it's high water requirement and I expect, as energy costs rise in the future, the cost of pumping water will become very dear. In the Medeterranian climate of California's Central Valley, I'm looking more to winter crops [rice is a warm season crop] so I can leave most of my garden fallow during the hottest summer months.
      >
      > But the Hmong people here and about Fresno grow it regularly for their personal use. An acquaintence of mine was growing a special kind of black rice from Laos right outside his house, There are two main kinds of rice though: upland and paddy rice--the latter needing standing water for a good part of the season and I don't think there is much way to tell the difference by looking at the seed. Home gardeners would have more success with upland rice unless their soil is very poorly drained. Some searching will reveal a huge amount of information on rice growing though. I'd just keep trying with different sources until you find a variety that works. As far as I know named and described rice varieties are not available from regular seed suppliers.
      >
      > I love growing seeds from the food markets. All beans work very well. Bird seed mixes provide a lot of biological diversity.
      >
      > Good wishes,
      >
      > John Warner, Madera Whole Systems Agriculture near Fresno, California
      > No-tillage, permanent mulch market growers since 1996
      >
      > www.WholeSystemsAg.org.
      >
      >
      >
      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • buttahfly@xprs.net
      Hi Faith I live in Lake County near Lower Lake, on 27 acres and I hope to begin growing some rice. (We have a lot of boron in our water from a well.) That is
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 3, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Faith
        I live in Lake County near Lower Lake, on 27 acres and I hope to begin
        growing some rice. (We have a lot of boron in our water from a well.) That
        is exciting! Where abouts in Northern CA are you headed?

        Best,
        Brian Kennedy
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Faith Arnold" <lvfrts@...>
        To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 12:43 AM
        Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Anybody tried growing Basmati rice?


        > Hi All,
        >
        > Anybody out there ever try to grow aromatic (Basmati-type) rice? If you
        have, I would love to hear about your experience with it. I didn't know
        where to get basmati seeds, so I just planted some organically-grown brown
        "Basmati" rice I got from my local health food market. Surprise, surprise,
        they sprouted nearly 100%! (Even most of the grains that were broken in
        half!) I just potted up three dozen quart-sized pots of them (I put three
        sprouts in each pot...their shoots are only about 1/4 inch long so far),
        then broadcast the remainder over soil in a plastic bus box, (because I
        didn't have the heart to waste them). That is going to be a lot of rice
        plants to deal with, considering I'm in the middle of moving to a place we
        just bought in Northern California, about a six hundred mile drive from
        here! I don't have any kind of a garden ready for them yet up there, so they
        may have to stay in pots for the whole season. But I don't think rice could
        be planted any later in the seas!
        > on than this and have any hope of maturing. (I already have six pots of a
        medium grain rice that are close to a foot tall, planted back in June.)
        >
        > Since the Basmati sprouted so well, I suspect it may be a fairly fresh
        batch from some U.S. grown rice, maybe Texmati. But they definitely have
        that wonderful Basmati smell, even after the seeds sprouted! (in a wet paper
        towel). I didn't think commercial brown rice would sprout, considering they
        don't have the protection of their husks, but I guess plants don't
        necessarily need their seed husks. I started some sunflower seeds this
        spring the same way (hull-less), and wrapped in a wet paper towel. They are
        starting to form flower buds already.
        >
        > Faith Arnold
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • garden03048
        ... it ... is ... rice, ... post, so ... Hampshire, ... fiddling ... use ... in ... my ... Japan ... beds ... crop ... to ... have a ... several ... umpteen
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 7, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Steve Gage <sgage@t...> wrote:
          > Hi Faith,
          >
          > I believe that part of the reason for flooding the paddies is that
          it
          > hurts the weeds and pests more than the rice. Also, I believe there
          is
          > some nitrogen connection as well - I think there's a kind of
          > bacteria/algae thing that gets going in the flooded paddy that does
          > N-fixation. Living in New Hampshire, USA, I've never tried growing
          rice,
          > flooded or not :-)
          >
          > I've been lurking here for quite a while, but this is my first
          post, so
          > I suppose I ought to introduce myself. I live in Central New
          Hampshire,
          > a place with a rather short growing season, so we are always
          fiddling
          > with various modes of "season extension". I am simple, so I just
          use
          > coldframes to jumpstart things a bit. I tried the whole growlights
          in
          > the basement thing, but that's just a bit too fussy for me at the
          > moment. I try as best I can to apply the attitude of M. Fukuoka to
          my
          > garden, but as I'm sure we all know, what works in semi-tropical
          Japan
          > doesn't necessarily work in Northern New England. However...
          >
          > I am strictly organic - no chemicals whatsoever. I am no-till (once
          beds
          > are made), except the incidental soil disruption that comes with
          > transplanting. I have built raised beds, which I mulch heavily with
          > spent hay and whatever weeds I feel I have to pull, along with my
          crop
          > wastes. I trim dead plants off at ground level, leaving the roots
          to
          > feed the soil and form channels. I keep very good track of what I
          > planted where and when, so I can rotate my crops intelligently. I
          have a
          > big draft horse (I use her mostly for logging my woodlot, and just
          > driving around for fun) that supplies all the manure that I and
          several
          > neighbors can possibly use! Between the horse and my 4 sheep and
          umpteen
          > chickens, fertility inputs are no problem, and I always have waste
          hay
          > to use for mulch.
          >
          > My main crops are garlic (just harvested yesterday - best crop
          ever!),
          > peas, lettuce, radishes, various beans, tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers,
          > zucchini, spinach, chard, kale, carrots, etc. Been doing it this
          way for
          > 12 years now, and results are excellent. I have fresh bush beans
          from
          > mid-July to mid-September, and I freeze and pickle tons of 'em. I
          store
          > lots of pinto and black beans, and I make lots of cucumber pickles.
          I
          > put up loads of tomatoes, and I also make lots of pesto and
          gazpacho,
          > and freeze it - great flavors of Summer to pull out of the freezer
          in
          > the middle of January up here!
          >
          > My soil, which started out as a rocky, silty-sandy, almost-orange
          > glacial afterthought is now a foot deep of rich black, well, soil.
          Full
          > of worms and good things, and occasional bad actors - cutworms and
          slugs
          > are my biggest pest problems. My garden is small enough that I can
          just
          > pick slugs in the morning. I also pull the mulch way back from
          tender
          > young lettuces in the Spring, and that helps a lot. Sometimes
          tomato
          > hornworms come into my garden (any day now?), and I need to get up
          early
          > every morning to pick 'em. But they're easily beaten. Weeds are no
          > problem at all, what with all the mulch, and weeding is very casual.
          >
          > I am an ecologist by training, so I love to just sit in my garden
          at the
          > end of the day with a beer and just enjoy all the life going on.
          The
          > insect diversity is astonishing. I teach various ecology courses at
          > Granite State College, including a course called Sustainable
          Gardening.
          > Many of my students have some vague idea about "organic gardening"
          and
          > whatnot. They currently garden in the "spank it hard with a
          rototiller
          > and lay down the Miracle-Gro" mode, and seem to understand that
          there's
          > a less violent way. I always warn them that the conversion from
          chemical
          > to organic gardening takes a year or three for a real ecosystem to
          set
          > in and come to equilibrium. So, for folks just starting out, don't
          take
          > one year's disaster as meaning that organic/no-till/Fukuoka methods
          > don't work.
          >
          > Wow, I've been rambling! Anyway, I've really enjoyed reading all of
          the
          > insights being shared on this list, and I hope I can contribute
          > something or other. Are there any other northern growers out there?
          >
          > Cheers,
          >
          > - Steve
          >
          >
          >
          > Steve,
          I garden in N. central Massachusetts. Not purely organic, but I
          seldom use insecticides or herbicides. The exceptions are spraying
          against the lily beetle and against poison ivy. There are limits to
          my tolerance.

          Has been a mostly good year for the garden, but my tomatoes are slow
          to ripen in spite of all the heat and humidity we have had. I didn't
          get to start them (from seed) till April. Do they need to be older
          to ripen?

          anthony zone 5
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
        • Steve Gage
          ... My tomatoes aren t ripening as quickly as I d like, either. In fact, I m a bit bothered by the situation. If you started them in April, the plants are
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 7, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            garden03048 wrote:

            >
            >I garden in N. central Massachusetts. Not purely organic, but I
            >seldom use insecticides or herbicides. The exceptions are spraying
            >against the lily beetle and against poison ivy. There are limits to
            >my tolerance.
            >
            >Has been a mostly good year for the garden, but my tomatoes are slow
            >to ripen in spite of all the heat and humidity we have had. I didn't
            >get to start them (from seed) till April. Do they need to be older
            >to ripen?
            >
            >anthony zone 5
            >
            >
            My tomatoes aren't ripening as quickly as I'd like, either. In fact, I'm
            a bit bothered by the situation. If you started them in April, the
            plants are plenty mature enough. I don't know what it is - you'd think
            that the weather we've been having would make things earlier rather than
            later. At least they're not deep, dark green - I mean, there are signs
            of ripening. But not a blush of pink or orange yet...

            Speaking of tomatoes, the hornworms have struck in the last couple of
            days, as I knew they would. I've been plucking them off and flinging
            them to my chickens. These things get so big that some of them actually
            intimidate the chickens a bit. I threw one of them (must have been a
            quarter pounder :-) about 30 feet, across the fence to where the
            chickens were scratching, and actually heard a big thump when it hit the
            ground! I don't know how they get so big so fast. Well, yes I do - they
            do it by eating my tomato plants!

            Still plenty of growing season left - we must be patient. But I want
            some tomatoes!

            - Steve
          • berinerturk
            There, tomatoes are not ripening as they should; here, peppers are no good this season. Apple trees in our region (northeast Turkey) did not blossom at all.
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 8, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              There, tomatoes are not ripening as they should; here, peppers
              are "no good" this season. Apple trees in our region (northeast
              Turkey) did not blossom at all. A friend who arrived last week from
              Austria said it was the same there. Experienced farmers cannot say
              what is wrong.
              Could it be because of global warming and climate changes?
              Berin Erturk
              Jade Farm, Turkey



              --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Steve Gage <sgage@t...> wrote:
              > garden03048 wrote:
              >
              > >
              > >I garden in N. central Massachusetts. Not purely organic, but I
              > >seldom use insecticides or herbicides. The exceptions are
              spraying
              > >against the lily beetle and against poison ivy. There are limits
              to
              > >my tolerance.
              > >
              > >Has been a mostly good year for the garden, but my tomatoes are
              slow
              > >to ripen in spite of all the heat and humidity we have had. I
              didn't
              > >get to start them (from seed) till April. Do they need to be
              older
              > >to ripen?
              > >
              > >anthony zone 5
              > >
              > >
              > My tomatoes aren't ripening as quickly as I'd like, either. In
              fact, I'm
              > a bit bothered by the situation. If you started them in April, the
              > plants are plenty mature enough. I don't know what it is - you'd
              think
              > that the weather we've been having would make things earlier rather
              than
              > later. At least they're not deep, dark green - I mean, there are
              signs
              > of ripening. But not a blush of pink or orange yet...
              >
              > Speaking of tomatoes, the hornworms have struck in the last couple
              of
              > days, as I knew they would. I've been plucking them off and
              flinging
              > them to my chickens. These things get so big that some of them
              actually
              > intimidate the chickens a bit. I threw one of them (must have been
              a
              > quarter pounder :-) about 30 feet, across the fence to where the
              > chickens were scratching, and actually heard a big thump when it
              hit the
              > ground! I don't know how they get so big so fast. Well, yes I do -
              they
              > do it by eating my tomato plants!
              >
              > Still plenty of growing season left - we must be patient. But I
              want
              > some tomatoes!
              >
              > - Steve
            • Gloria C. Baikauskas
              Anthony...I own an organic gardening list at yahoogroups.com. I have noticed that many folks in your part of the country have said their tomatoes are not
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 8, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                Anthony...I own an organic gardening list at yahoogroups.com. I have
                noticed that many folks in your part of the country have said their
                tomatoes are not ripening like they think they should be. I have no
                idea why.

                Figuring you should start seeds 6 weeks before their outside planting
                date...I wouldn't think an April start was too late for where you
                live....unless it was the end of April.

                Have you read Fukuoka's "One Straw Revolution?" It is in the files on
                the homepage for this group.

                Gloria, Texas
                US
              • Gloria C. Baikauskas
                I don t know, Berin. I think it is happening globally. My fruit trees also did not bloom this year. My grapes are not going to have grapes this year for the
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 8, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  I don't know, Berin. I think it is happening globally. My fruit
                  trees also did not bloom this year. My grapes are not going to have
                  grapes this year for the first time. My tomatoes are ripening, but I
                  didn't plant very many. One of my friends had so many tomatoes this
                  year they really almost wish the plants would die. They also live
                  here. The only thing he did differently is that he added calcium to
                  his soil where the tomatoes are. Research does show that both
                  tomatoes and potatoes do better when calcium is added. That isn't
                  very Fukuokan.....but I thought I would tell you. The yields are
                  reportedly 25% higher with calcium.

                  I mentioned in an earlier post tonight that this same report has been
                  repeated on the organic gardening list I own. I do not know if it is
                  global warming,etc.

                  Gloria, Texas
                  US

                  --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "berinerturk"
                  <berinerturk@y...> wrote:
                  > There, tomatoes are not ripening as they should; here, peppers
                  > are "no good" this season. Apple trees in our region (northeast
                  > Turkey) did not blossom at all. A friend who arrived last week from
                  > Austria said it was the same there. Experienced farmers cannot say
                  > what is wrong.
                  > Could it be because of global warming and climate changes?
                  > Berin Erturk
                  > Jade Farm, Turkey
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Steve Gage <sgage@t...>
                  wrote:
                  > > garden03048 wrote:
                  > >
                  > > >
                  > > >I garden in N. central Massachusetts. Not purely organic, but I
                  > > >seldom use insecticides or herbicides. The exceptions are
                  > spraying
                  > > >against the lily beetle and against poison ivy. There are
                  limits
                  > to
                  > > >my tolerance.
                  > > >
                  > > >Has been a mostly good year for the garden, but my tomatoes are
                  > slow
                  > > >to ripen in spite of all the heat and humidity we have had. I
                  > didn't
                  > > >get to start them (from seed) till April. Do they need to be
                  > older
                  > > >to ripen?
                  > > >
                  > > >anthony zone 5
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > My tomatoes aren't ripening as quickly as I'd like, either. In
                  > fact, I'm
                  > > a bit bothered by the situation. If you started them in April,
                  the
                  > > plants are plenty mature enough. I don't know what it is - you'd
                  > think
                  > > that the weather we've been having would make things earlier
                  rather
                  > than
                  > > later. At least they're not deep, dark green - I mean, there are
                  > signs
                  > > of ripening. But not a blush of pink or orange yet...
                  > >
                  > > Speaking of tomatoes, the hornworms have struck in the last
                  couple
                  > of
                  > > days, as I knew they would. I've been plucking them off and
                  > flinging
                  > > them to my chickens. These things get so big that some of them
                  > actually
                  > > intimidate the chickens a bit. I threw one of them (must have
                  been
                  > a
                  > > quarter pounder :-) about 30 feet, across the fence to where the
                  > > chickens were scratching, and actually heard a big thump when it
                  > hit the
                  > > ground! I don't know how they get so big so fast. Well, yes I do -

                  > they
                  > > do it by eating my tomato plants!
                  > >
                  > > Still plenty of growing season left - we must be patient. But I
                  > want
                  > > some tomatoes!
                  > >
                  > > - Steve
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.