Thursday, April 16, 2009

Backyard grains

Buckwheat and oats - yay - two experiments that worked, albeit on a miniature scale ... Now to see if I can grow them in slightly greater quantity this year!

Buckwheat was something I'd hankered to grow for ages. I love buckwheat pancakes and buckwheat noodles, and so do certain other members of the family. I can't get them to eat stuff made with wholemeal wheat flour very often, but buckwheat combined with white flour goes down a treat, and must be way more nutritious than the white flour on its own.

I scattered some buckwheat seeds amongst our zucchinis in spring, and they grew fantastically. (Better than the zucchinis, which suffered from various ailments this year.)

After the buckwheat had flowered, I picked the groats, and pummelled them up in our big mortar and pestle. The white starchy insides turned to powder, while the hulls stayed mostly in big pieces.

I shook it all through the sieve to remove the biggest bits of hull - and you can see the end result above. It looks just like the buckwheat in the shops! :)

Granted it's only a few spoonfuls, but it's MY few spoonfuls, and I bet those pancakes will taste really good.

I've kept the hulls too. Can you make buckwheat pillows out of those, does anyone know? I'm unsure whether buckwheat pillows are made from the whole groats, or from the empty, broken hulls. Any info gratefully received.

Now onto the oats. I just grew a few in our potato patch after most of the potatoes were dug. It was only a very small amount, but I wasn't really growing them as a grain, but as a herb.

The end result was this bag of dried oatstraw (for tea) ...

... and this tiny milky oats tincture. (There was more, but I've used some of it. It's supposed to be good when you are feeling stressed and depleted ... I feel like it's working, but I'm not ruling out a placebo effect.)


Gillybean said...

That's a great post for me, it encourages me to give it a go. I grow heaps of buckwheat but have always procrastinated about processing it until the following spring when I would just plant it all again because I didn't know what to do about those black hulls, your technique sound easy. I'm going to try it.
Thanks for your thoughts about my wellbeing, more and more I'm thinking that was the issue actually. I am getting some healing to that effect. Conventional GP was a total waste of time and money.

Ruth said...

So exciting about the buckwheat. So exciting! It looks great!

Johanna Knox said...

Hi Gillybean

The mortar and pestle worked well for my small ammount. I think if I'd had more I might have tried pulsing it briefly in the blender. I wonder how that would go.

Sending healing thoughts your way - and you have my empathy if indeed that is the issue!


Johanna Knox said...

Hi Ruth - and look forward to hearing more about your rice ... :) x

Shell (in NZ) said...

Wow- that is exciting! I'm yet to taste buckwheat (I know, I know)...but I am intrigued nonetheless. I'm finally reading Animal Vegetable Miracle, and it really does seem to me that the farmer's market and my own plot will be wonderufl- but what about pancakes?? I was thinking we could start with no supermarket, just organic oats and wholemeal flour aand olive oil.