Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions: Abridged Book Excerpt

| 2/25/2013 2:27:15 PM

Are you looking for ways to grow most of your own food? If so, you probably have the fruit and veggie patches going great guns. Or, maybe homemade goods such as breads and pastas rate highly on your family’s dinner selections. In this excerpt from Fair presenters Hank and Karen Will’s new book, Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-budget Homesteading Solutions, they’ll show you how to add small grains to your plot.


Plowing With PigsSmall Grains, Big Benefit 

The backyard food garden brings ready images of labor converted to greens, fruits, beans, and corn – but why not small grains? There was a time when almost every farm and homestead out there made some provision for growing grains – and not only the larger grains like corn and beans, but also the small grains that continue to feed the world and that most folks in North America consume in large quantities every day. Is it because these staples have drifted into the realm of the highly processed and therefore are not for home growing?

Whatever the reason, it’s true that dry beans, flint, flour and dent corns, along with a whole host of small grains are not among the top tier of food-garden favorites in North America. When was the last time you were involved in a conversation about the awesome flavor of a particular variety of corn, ground into meal, or which variety of wheat’s flour was responsible for that oh-so-delicious homemade pasta?

No doubt, one practical reason for small grains falling out of favor is that there is quite a bit of labor involved with getting the crop out of the field and sufficiently processed to be able to make flour. And the making of flour requires milling – a process that we’ve been raised to believe requires vast stone or metal wheels powered by water or electricity to crush the grains and liberate that white starchy stuff we call flour. And we have a vague idea that it takes even more complicated machinery to separate the starchy stuff from the protein and the fiber – the germ and bran. And that’s where we’ve gone wrong. Somehow, we’ve been convinced that the only flours worth eating are white and starchy.

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