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The ultimate guide to growing organic grains on a small and ecological scale, The Organic Grain Grower is invaluable for both home-scale and commercial producers interested in expanding their resiliency and crop diversity through growing their own grains. Longtime farmer and organic pioneer Jack Lazor covers how to grow and store wheat, barley, oats, corn, dry beans, soybeans, pulse crops, oilseeds, grasses, nutrient-dense forages and lesser-known cereals. In addition to detailed cultivation and processing information, Lazor argues the importance of integrating grains on the organic farm (not to mention for the local-food system) for reasons of biodiversity and whole farm management. This book includes extensive information on:
- The history of grain growing and consumption in North America
- The 21st century and the birth of the local-food movement
- Considering your farm's scale and climate
- Understanding soil fertility and structure
- Planting your crop (including spring vs. fall cereals and preparing your soil)
- The growing and ripening process (reproductive, milk, hard-and-soft dough stages)
- The grain harvest
- Preparing grain for sale, storage or end use (drying, cleaning seed, grain handling)
- Seed breeding and saving
- Machinery, infrastructure and processing (both home-scale tools and larger farm equipment)
- Grinding grains for livestock rations (including how to put together a ration based on protein content) and sample rations for dairy cows, pigs and chickens
- Processing grains for human consumption
- Additional resources and information for new grain farmers
- And more!
Beginners will learn how to grow enough wheat for a year's supply of bread flour for their homestead, and farmers will learn how to become part of a grain co-op, working alongside artisan bakers and mills. Never before has there been a guide to growing organic grains applicable both for the home-scale and professional farming scale. This will be a classic for decades to come and a crucial addition to any farmer's, homesteader's, gardener's, agronomist's or seed-saver's library.