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Old 11-04-2012, 10:03 PM   #201
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Has anything happened with this?

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Old 11-04-2012, 10:09 PM   #202
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Ah, I've been so busy! Still some unthreshed grain at the field, and lots of Almanac beer in my bedroom to bottle up. Homegrown hops in the freezer...

Anybody else growing grains this winter??

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Old 11-04-2012, 10:16 PM   #203
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I know man I know.. It's hard to find time for the more important things in life. Did your hops ever pan out?

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Old 11-05-2012, 12:20 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by drummstikk View Post
Ah, I've been so busy! Still some unthreshed grain at the field, and lots of Almanac beer in my bedroom to bottle up. Homegrown hops in the freezer...

Anybody else growing grains this winter??
Maris Otter and Halcyon samples this winter, with Bere, Hana, and Conlon waiting for spring. I've got some Cascade hops in a planter from my old place, and I'll be getting them in the ground in the spring, along with (hopefully) one or two other varieties.

So much fun, checking on the barley every couple of days...

--Misha
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:38 AM   #205
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This is nothing short of awesome in my book! Very inspiring to grow my own beer. Great job!

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:43 PM   #206
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This thread should be a sticky.

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Old 04-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #207
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So, after surviving the winter, my Maris Otter and Halcyon mini-plots have put the spurs to it, and are growing quite nicely. I've got mini-plots of Bere and Hana sown, and they've germinated and sprouted (although I think birds may have gotten to the seed; I saw lots of empty barley husks, and there aren't as many shoots as I would have liked, particularly of the Hana).

As a backup, I held back a few (10 or so) seeds from each variety, and they're doing just fine in small planters, where I can keep them safe from predation...

I hope to get the Conlon sown this week. I've also got my hop rhizomes waiting for me to finish the pergola for them to climb: two each of Cascade, Magnum, Sterling, and Willamette. (My two 4-year-old Cascade rhizomes, now "retired", have been transplanted to an area where they can climb an old pear tree...)

If only the homestead wasn't a 130-year-old work-in-progress; then I could maybe focus on the important things, like brewing...

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Old 04-12-2013, 12:53 AM   #208
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I pulled this off a website that discusses polyculture systems...

Agricultural Legume Inter-planting

Sir Albert Howard also experimented with growing a food producing legume, chickpeas, with wheat. He had observed that the Indian growers often grew grains inter-planted with a legume, so he grew three rows of wheat and then a row of chickpeas, in an experiment. The growth of the outer two lines of wheat was so superior to the middle that he weighed the grains at harvest, and found that the lines adjacent to the chickpeas yielded 34% more than the inner line. (A History of Agriculture in India Vol III, Randhawa). This is corroborated by FH King, in ‘Farmers of Forty Centuries’ who observed Chinese growers growing grains and beans, two rows of grain, then a row of beans, etc. The Chinese farmer had clearly worked out the optimum configuration for themselves, without the help of scientists.

Taking Howard’s figures of 34% increase in yield, if you are replacing every third row of grain with a legume, you are losing 33% of your grain yield, from the loss of that row, but gaining a 34% increase in each of the remaining two rows. My mathematics isn't amazing, but I understand that to mean that the extra yield from the remaining two rows will provide about 2/3 of the yield lost from the missing row, and there will be a yield of bean/legume, that wasn't there before.

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Old 04-12-2013, 12:56 AM   #209
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Hairy Vetch, clover, or non climbing peas would also work well although I like the thought of having a food crop growing amongst the barley if possible.

The mix of plant types also cuts down the incident of diseases and pests.

I would also be inclined to plant comfrey, dandilion, garlic, marigold, calendula, mustard, and borage.

These plants do specific things like de-compact the soil, bring vital nutrients to the surface, attract beneficial predatory insects, repel parasitic insects, and provide yet another edible or medicinal crop within the same space without competing with the barley.

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Old 04-17-2013, 01:27 AM   #210
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Well I just secured an area to plant my grains this season. I got some small samples from the seed bank and will be growing them up this year in a polyculture environment like I described above, but quite a bit more complex than that :-)

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