Hey all, most of my study and farming experience has been with perennial crops with animals, and personal vegetable gardens. I don't know how to efficiently grow grains. I'm about to start a certificate in fermentation science, focused on brewing. I've wanted to connect these passions at every chance. I'm am deciding upon two programs in very different regions.
One is Ellensburg, Washington: usda one 6a, 9 inches of average of rain a year. High winds are to be expected in spring. I've never lived in a dry area and I'm doing what I can learn about methods of making use of every drop that falls on the home, wherever that is.
The other is Mount Pleasant, Michigan: usda 5a, 32 inches of average rainfall. Animal care will likely be a more prevalent part of our farming if that is a help or hindrance to this process. There is enough water to support pasture raising.
-Malt barley: Hordeum hexastichon (6-row) and H. vulgare distichon (2-row) in mind. Are there others I should know about? I'm open to other
-How do I grow these species efficiently without compromising the soil I'm trying to build? What can I do to prep the area, plant with/after, animal participation?
-What could you share regarding efficient harvest and processing of these grains so they are viable for malting (sprouting and drying/roasting) at a later date? Is a food grade barrel sufficient to avoid molds?
Any reads to recommend will be appreciated. Thanks for your time!
Lots of options for companion and rotational crops. Clover, peas, beans, vetch, buckwheat, turnips, radish, etc.
DEFINITELY include animals in the system. Graze the field after the crop is out or as a fall pasture after the cover crop is forage sized. Need animals to get proper P and K cycling.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
Willie Smits: Village Based Permaculture Approaches in Indonesia (video)