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Wednesday
Sep012010

Rice: A New Vermont Crop Takes Form

The 2nd year of our rice research testing is coming to a spectacular close with full terraced hillside paddies of short grain brown rice. Sound like Java or the Phillipines or Japan?  Indeed, but this sloped-land technique for perpetual grain production on marginal land has proven possible for centuries in other cold climates.  Our site is testing this crop in what's likely the coldest place on Earth anyone is attempting rice.  But the climate is shifting and we haven't tried all possibilities besides.  So far the results are stunning:  4,000-5,000 lbs/acre on subsoil of grain that can be stored for years and used by anyone on the farm/homestead be it human or farm animal. 

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i too grew rice, from hokkido 2 yrs. ago. this year my levee had been undermined by muskrats, and other things had priority. but next yr looks good. mistakes i made were having to hold seedling to long -paddy not ready; not stirring up a good wet self leveling mud; not draining the paddy to let the leveled mud firm up; planting seedlings to close together in places. i used most of a bin of 2yr old humanure, and about the time heads started to form, half a bag of pasturised chicken manure on a patch 15x40'. the main problem was ihe lack of sun and heat, it was a very rainy year. this summer was pretty warm sunny and dry. as in all farming, some years will be better for some things, for some reasons. i didn't weigh my rice, it was just a learning year. would love to visit your paddys and whole system to see how i could do better we have about two acres that we could mix paddies, berries, chickens and guinnies, or ducks. only have cats and a semi tame rabbit now, though he is quite a rabbit.

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