As recommended by other members here, I've started reading One Straw Revolution and even though I haven't finished the book, I'm now officially an advocate of this whole thing. So I've got the basic principles down, but as far as practical application, I'm still very much lacking information.
What I do know for sure is I want Winter Wheat because I simply love bread and want something as close to what I'm used eating to as possible. What other crop could I use for my summer rotation? Rice sounds great, but does it grow well in North Texas? What other American staples might I consider? I want something that stores well for long periods of time, but I have no idea what those things might be. I love beans, rice and other hearty food.
Also, how large of an area will realistically feed me and 2 or 3 other people? Of course I'll still buy other things from the store, but if I grow bread, I don't want to buy bread and same for any crop I grow. So I guess I should ask, how big of a plot will grow all the bread we need? I'll have 15 acres to work with, but I'm hoping not to occupy too much space with crops since I want some sheep and large pond etc.
So with a little math you should be able to figure out how much wheat you want to produce, and approximately how much land it will take. I would personally use a low yield from the Texas yield reference page to start with, maybe a convenient low number like 25 bushels per acre, then you can multiply that by 60 to get pounds per acre, 1500 lbs. or 150 pounds per 1/10 acre which looks like it would be enough for almost three loaves of bread per week.
I would strongly suggest growing the wheat in a fenced area, to keep out the varmints. When I tried to grow wheat, the squirrels ate it just as the heads were getting nice and plump. And we have so many deer here anything tasty out in a field just get mowed down unless you have acres of it....
Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
Winter wheat is generally harvested in early July in most areas. You need to find things that can be planted after that, and still have time to mature in your climate.
Your next rotation of wheat needs to be in the ground early enough to sprout before the first frost.
Joined: Apr 22, 2012
I was thinking about maybe growing some kind of bean in the summer. I like pinto beans. I read that this is good for restoring nitrogen to the soil. Is that true?
I also like potatoes and rice, but perhaps rice doesn't grow so well in Texas. I read about a strain of rice called upland rice which doesn't require a lot of water. Does anyone have any information for growing potatoes or rice in Texas?
Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
Joined: Apr 26, 2012
Location: north texas 7b now 8a
So far I am hearing alot of crop rotation, which is not one straw. If doing the one straw way first you need a ground cover and nitr. fixer. In N. texas I use red clover or sub white clover, wheat (oct-July),that only gives you about 90 for a summer crop. I would suggest millet. It is easy to grow, germinates w/ little rain (planting in July in Texas). I would seed ball all the grain seed due to ou varying rains. Red Clover won't last around here unless you let it seed.