Synopses & Reviews
The ultimate guide to growing organic grains on a small and ecological scale, The Organic Grain Grower
is invaluable for both home-scale and commercial producers interested in expanding their resiliency and crop diversity through growing their own grains. Longtime farmer and organic pioneer Jack Lazor covers how to grow and store wheat, barley, oats, corn, dry beans, soybeans, pulse crops, oilseeds, grasses, nutrient-dense forages, and lesser-known cereals. In addition to detailed cultivation and processing information, Lazor argues the importance of integrating grains on the organic farm (not to mention for the local-food system) for reasons of biodiversity and whole farm management. Including extensive information on:
- The history of grain growing and consumption in North America
- The twenty-first century and the birth of the local-food movement
- Considering your farm's scale and climate
- Understanding soil fertility and structure
- Planting your crop (including spring vs. fall cereals and preparing your soil)
- The growing and ripening process (reproductive, milk, hard-and-soft dough stages)
- The grain harvest
- Preparing grain for sale, storage, or end use (drying, cleaning seed, grain handling)
- Seed breeding and saving
- Machinery, infrastructure, and processing (both home-scale tools and larger farm equipment)
- Grinding grains for livestock rations (including how to put together a ration based on protein content) and sample rations for dairy cows, pigs, and chickens
- Processing grains for human consumption
- Additional resources and information for new grain farmers, and more...
Beginners will learn how to grow enough wheat for a year's supply of bread flour for their homestead, and farmers will learn how to become part of a grain co-op, working alongside artisan bakers and mills. Never before has there been a guide to growing organic grains applicable both for the home-scale and professional farming scale. This will be a classic for decades to come and a crucial addition to any farmer's, homesteader's, gardener's, agronomist's, or seed-saver's library.
"Given our industrial agriculture, most of us assume that grain can only be grown in huge monocultures devoted to producing as much as possible, unmindful of the quality. But in The Organic Grain Grower
, Jack Lazor provides us with a practical and attractive alternative. As a farmer he has demonstrated that one can provide an emerging market with a diversity of superior quality grains, grown on a small scale, using heirloom varieties and modest investment. This book is (as Eliot Coleman puts it) "like acquiring hundreds of years of knowledge in one book."--Frederick Kirschenmann, author of Cultivating an Ecological Conscience
About the Author
Jack Lazor is co-owner of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, VT, with his wife, Anne, and cofounder of the Northern Grain Grower's Association. Jack has been growing organic grains in the mountains of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom since 1975 and is considered a leader in the movement for growing grains in cold climates. Lazor grows grains both for human consumption and for feed for their herd of Jersey cows, including corn, oats, barley, soybeans, legumes, alfalfa, and oilseeds, such as flax and sunflower. Butterworks Farm also produces organic Jersey milk yogurt, buttermilk, sweet Jersey cream, cheddar cheese, and grain products. He is the recipient of many agricultural awards.