August 21, 2019

My First Rice Harvest

I can't help but take a pause from my Solar Pantry Series for my very first rice harvest. I've never grown rice before so this small patch has been an experiment; an experiment on which I've pinned great hopes.

I planted two varieties of upland rice last May (blog post here). Upland rice is different from lowland or paddy rice because it doesn't have to be flooded. It can be grown without a rice paddy.

My bed of Cho Seun Zo Saeng, a short grain brown rice.

The Cho Seun variety is said to be ready to harvest somewhere around 125 days after transplanting or whenever the heads are golden brown.

Brown rice ready to harvest.

 I cut mine at day 123 with my hand sickle.

My hand sickle is a handy tool.

The patch was small so it didn't take long. It filled my wheelbarrow.

My first ever rice harvest!

My next step is to thresh it. This variety is supposed to be relatively easy to thresh because it is awnless. We'll see!

The second bed of rice, Loto, still has a lot of green seed heads.

My bed of Loto rice, a shorter variety.

So I'm still waiting on that one.

My seed packets contained 7 grams of rice seed each, so I'm curious about my yield. We'll try some of course, but I plan to save most of it as seed for next summer's crop. Hopefully, homegrown rice can become a regular part of our diet.

My First Rice Harvest © August 2019

32 comments:

Su Ba said...

Wow, I'm really interested in your observations. I'd like to give rice a try this year. But I know nothing about it. I'm especially interested in how difficult it will be to thresh it.

Kristina said...

That's awesome. With all the rain here this year, I should have tried growing it too.

Woolly Bits said...

we shouldn't have problems with building paddies with all the rain we're having:) not sure about the temperature though - I think our summers are too cool to get anywhere with rice:( we tried soy beans a while back - and failed miserably... there is a reason why ireland has grown (and suffered) with potatoes!

Fiona said...

This is so exciting. I have been following your Rice adventure. We enjoy rice and use it a lot. You give me courage to try to grow some next year. I do see electric net fencing will be needed. Those lovely kernels just look perfect for chicken snacking.

Ed said...

Interesting and new stuff to me!

Kelly said...

Look at your harvest! I'm impressed. :)

Just don't get so good at it that you put us out of business down here in Arkansas. ;)

Leigh said...

Su Ba, it's been interesting and exciting so far. Hopefully, it won't be too hard to thresh, but it also needs to be dehulled(!) That will be another adventure, I'm sure!

Kristina, we've had a hot dry summer, so I have had to water it, but it's done well with just that!

Bettina, I have no idea about growing temperatures either. I was worried we'd be too hot for it and it did droop from time to time, but I watered it and it always recovered.

Fiona, I'm sure the chickens would love to help themselves! lol

Ed, I'm just happy it's done well so far!

Kelly, thanks! And I don't think Arkansas has anything to worry about. :)

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

That is so cool!! Taste will be interesting, so fresh

Quinn said...

I wonder if I have good conditions for upland rice - I've got oats coming up all over the place, from cleaning out the goat barns! Actually, this year, I could maybe have grown paddy rice, it's so darned sopping here.

Goatldi said...

We have a good deal of rice off I5 beginning at the Sacramento International airport. A lot of paddy’s to view when one crosses those massive over passes .

The idea of paddy less rice is intriguing. I think that I am now back in Central California even at 1400 feet in the hills my climate may not support it.

Looks great to me!

Retired Knitter said...

I absolutely love rice but never saw the plant it comes from or the issues involved in harvesting it. Interesting post.

Leigh said...

Nancy, I can't wait to cook some up!

Quinn, you should give it a try! It really wasn't hard to grow, but I'm not so sure about the processing. As soon as I wade my way through a mound of tomatoes and pears, I'll see how the rice goes.

Goatldi! You must be back online! If I had to make paddies I probably never would have tried rice, although I'm sure this upland type wouldn't mind more rain.

RT, this is all new to me too. One of my more fun experiments. Hopefully, I'll do even better next year. :)

J.L. Murphey said...

Waiting to hear the next steps and results

Leigh said...

Jo, I confess I'm figuring it out as I go along. Dan turned an old yard chipper and mulcher into a wheat thresher, but this is such a small amount of rice I may try it by hand first. The comes dehulling, which will be a whole new experience!

Rain said...

That's really cool Leigh. I've never seen anyone grow rice, I really hope you guys make a go of it so you can use it for meals! I love the sickle!

Sam I Am...... said...

That's amazing. I didn't know there was rice that didn't have to "flooded"...very interesting and I can't wait to see your other rice and what you think after tasting them. You are an amazing farmer! Congrats on your harvest!

Kev Alviti said...

I'm impressed. my own experiments with grain haven't been great this year! I think the local wildlife has ended up with more! But I shall try again. I'm glad you got enough to eat some, I'll be interested in your yields. Could you sow early enough to get two crops? I know they do in the tropics.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Looks good Leigh! I have tried wild rice a couple of times without too much success.

One thought: I believe Gene Logsdon talked about processing rice and (as I recall) he suggested parboiling it, then trying out the seeds. For what it is worth.

Leigh said...

Rain, that hand sickle is really handy. Dan can mow or scythe open areas and the little sickle gets the areas close to fences and borders. I'm excited about the rice and hoping to grow a larger patch next year. :)

Sam, thanks! I can't remember how I learned about it, but it's perfect for those of us who can't (or don't want to) grow rice in a paddy.

Kev, our grain was poorly last year, so this is encouraging. Hopefully our wheat will do well too.

I'm not sure if I could grow two crops or not. It takes 5 - 6 weeks to grow the plugs, and then about 125 days after transplanting for harvest. Our frost free time is said to be mid-April to mid-October, although sometimes it's longer than that. Probably not long enough for two crops. next year I'll grow a larger patch.

TB, thanks for mentioning Gene Logsdon! I have his small-scale grain growing book and will have to take a look at what he says.

Mama Pea said...

I know absolutely nothing about growing rice, although we eat a lot of it. Will you have to parch it before it's ready to eat?

It's a good crop to substitute for potatoes if the homegrown potatoes don't make it. I'm sure we'll have to keep purchasing rice from our Co-op but kudos to you for your ability to grow it yourself!

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, at this point I'm just going to have to rely on whatever recommendations and suggestions I find! I'm definitely hoping we'll be able to grow some every year.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

That is so neat! I had no idea that you could grow rice where you live! Another item to help you be more self-sufficient. Nancy

Leigh said...

Nancy, I didn't know I could grow it either! Very pleased with this "success" so far. :)

Chris said...

Glad this experiment worked. Looking forward to hearing more about the yield (and processing).

Jean Ellen said...

How did you keep the birds from eating all of it? Looks like you did quite well with your harvest.

Leigh said...

Chris, as soon as I finish with pears and figs I'll get started on threshing the rice. Really looking forward to that.

Jean Ellen, we planned to sink several t-posts and drape a net over them, but we just never got around to it. So I think I was lucky this year that the birds didn't discover it. I won't count on that same luck next year!

Gorges Smythe said...

Interesting!

Leigh said...

Gorges, I'm pretty excited about it, actually. I hope it becomes a regular crop for us!

Sandi said...

I have never seen this done. Wow!

Leigh said...

Sandi, it's all new for me too! This afternoon I'm going to thresh it. Hopefully that will go well. Then I have to dehull it, but I'm not too sure about that.

Debby Riddle said...

This is amazing! Something I would love to try.

Leigh said...

Debby, you should! My next blog post will be about threshing it. :)