Greetings everyone and as always thank you for your following. You, the readers, make this possible and I am honored to be a part of this community.
There are folks far and near who have been following this weekly column and I have received a request to have a question answered by a group called the Funky Food Growers in University Place, Washington.
Their question is about starting a composting program at home. Here is some information:
• Your indoor container should be a small container that you empty every two or three days with your trash. It needs to have a lid to keep the pests out and must be washed after emptying.
• Your outdoor container can be a 4 ft x 4 ft wood bin or a purchased bin from your garden center. Keep in mind that it should be located away from your home. You will need to turn it with a pitch fork or churn on a built-in roller device weekly.
• Your three basic parts of compost are 2/3 greens such as fruits and vegetables, and 1/3 browns such as small sticks and apple tree cuttings, small amounts of oak leaves, and hedge clippings.
• A important thing you must also consider in many western Washington locations is to ensure that your H.O.A. allows for composting. If you are not allowed to compost, contact the city composting office or Le May Inc. who has composting stations you may purchase compost at for ten dollars per cubic yard.
Dry land rice crops
Dry land rice is actually a vegetable crop that has been making a huge comeback over the last 12 years and has even been considered an alternative crop for soybean growers in times of severe drought. Rice continues to be researched as a South Dakota alternative cash crop. As you would imagine this crop grows in dry land and not in water like other varieties do. For more information on this research, visit southdakotasoybeans.org.
Dry land rice is also being planted in home gardens for food, and is an educational tool with children. Children are learning about growing food and noncommercial processing of food for home consumption.
Dry land rice has also been used as a natural alternative to cleansing soils of chemical toxins as the plant naturally absorbs heavy metals. The plant then is allowed to dry, keeping the toxins trapped and disposed of at an approved E.P.A. waste facility.
Growing dry land rice at home
• Best variety to grow is Duborskuan Dry Land Rice
• You can purchase the seed online at fruituinseeds.com for $3.50 plus shipping. You will get 75 seeds.
• Seeds are best started indoors about 10 weeks prior to planting outdoors. You will want to grow them in individual pods about Two inches in diameter and two inches deep. One to two seeds per pod. Water once per week.
• Transplant into your garden after the threat of frost passes. The plants are hardy to temperatures down to 40 degrees.
• Water only once per week.
• Plants will grow to 20 to 24 inches high and are wind pollinated.
• Plants are ready for harvest when they are dry and turn a golden brown.
• I will cover how to hand thresh at a later date in the season.
Most importantly, have fun trying something new and teaching your kids about food sovereignty. Happy growing and enjoy your week.