Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Growing Grains

Wheat and other grains are essential to our basic food storage. In 1876 Brigham Young instructed the women to gather wheat and store it against a day of possible need. President Hinckley reflects upon this instruction, "Through the years hunger was alleviated because of this program. It reached its culmination in 1918 when the Relief Society wheat was sold to the United States government and used to alleviate starvation that had resulted from the scourge of the First World War. The money gained was reinvested."
“Ambitious to Do Good”", Ensign, Mar. 1992, 2

Sheri Dew also talks about the Relief Society storing wheat and helping those in need. She said, "Wheat, which had been stored since 1876, was sent to survivors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and to World War I victims (the Relief Society sold 200,000 bushels to the U.S. government). During this period the Relief Society adopted the motto “Charity Never Faileth.”
 "“Something Extraordinary”", Ensign, Mar. 1992, 51

What great examples these early Relief Society sisters were to following the counsel they had been given. They also got to see the benefit of following that counsel. Aside from only storing wheat, this year I am going to try to grow some grains. It is very inexpensive, low-maintaince, and it is beautiful grass.

The best grains for home gardening are wheat, corn, oats, barley, buckwheat, millet, rye, and amaranth. Grains are simple to grow, as many grasses are. The book, “Homegrown Whole Grains: Grow, Harvest, and Cook Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rice, Corn, and More" is a great resource. There was an article about this book in the Richmond times a few weeks ago.

Oats - Germinates quickly but difficult to harvest unless you go with hull-less variety

Rye - Easy to harvest, very hardy. Has no hull.

Wheat - Easy to manage in gardens. Very common ingredient.

Buckwheat - Broadleaf plant with a strong flavor that often is milled into flour for pancakes.

Corn - One of the easiest crops to grow. It can be eaten fresh, ground into cornmeal or popped into popcorn.

Millet -Tasty when served like rice or added to foods for it’s crunch. Loaded with protein, B vitamins and minerals.

Amaranth - Tall, broadleaf plant that forms feathery plumes. The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach. Grains have a peppery taste and are rich in protein and other nutrients.

1 comment:

Cindy S. said...

I planted quinoa last summer, and I'm not sure if it ever germinated. Some weed-like plants that sort of looked like quinoa came up. I left them alone for a long time, hoping they would produce, but my husband gave up on them and ripped them out before they did. I'd like to try again.