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What is everyone growing? Zone you grow in? Wheat? Rice? Barley? Oats?

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  • Andrew C
    We have two small farms. One 44 miles from town is basically dry land and isolated, we irrigate very little. Of our 84 acres only 10 are tillable. The
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2009
      We have two small farms. One 44 miles from town is basically "dry land" and isolated, we irrigate very little. Of our 84 acres only 10 are tillable. The second farm, which we just started working this last spring, is in the Arkansas Valley (40 acres) and has very good `ditch water' for irrigation. (Our share of the ditch is .88 acre foot per 24 hours, 9 months of the year.)
      For the last 6 years we've grown mainly garlic and shallots. In 2008 we Certified Organic our Delhi, Colorado (10 acres) farm. We're looking to grow grain `seed crops' (mainly for sale to CSA's and home gardeners.) Just this week we received 3 types of hulless oats, 6 types of hulless barley and 9 types of rice. All of these are from "Germplasm Centers"; only 10 grains of each rice and 5 grams of each oat and barley. Enough to test grow and save seed for expansion. (If anyone is interested, these seeds are free and can be ordered on line.) Next month (November) we'll receive 10 varieties (1/4 pound each) of cowpeas. They will be mainly from Africa and Asia.
      Cowpeas can add 60 to 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre; and, they don't require additional nitrogen to grow themselves, they generate what they need. The cowpea plant make great animal fodder. Our plan is rotating cowpeas and grains. Every other grain grow will be plowed under as `green manure'. The alternating grain crop will be allowed to mature and harvested.
      My only experience with grains is Hard Red Winter Wheat (used for `green manure'). It grew `dry land' extremely well. The variety we grew was an old version of `Yuma', 24" to 26" tall.
      Looking forward to our conversations!
      Andrew
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