Yes, it has been a long time since our last update!
Speaking of long, lets talk about long grain rice. We grew some! Diamante, a long grain from Chile is currently drying in our hoop house. The longer grain, on the left of the first picture firs below is Diamante. The one on the right is a short grain, Yukihikari.
We are the only farm we are aware of to have long grain rice finish in a cool climate (please contact us if you know otherwise). All the commercial rices grown by the few rice farmers in the northeast are short grain brown rices. Next season, with the Diamante saved seed, we will test out its commercial viability. Furthermore, ten of the twenty varieties we tested (on top of the three we already grow commercially) have a lot of promise. Above and right, was my personal favorite, Titanio,which has such a unique panicle (heading formation). This winter we will share, sell and stow this seed for eating and growing.
This picture is from the middle of July. We directly seeded rice in the right half of this picture – as an experiment. Notice that it is two weeks behind the transplanted rice to the left. The directly sown yields where lower, the plants were more scattered and the weed pressure was higher. However, the labor and cost (seedling, greenhouse space, etc.) of transplanting is considerably higher than directly sown rice. We are now in the process of applying for a research grant to test the economic viability of directly sown rice production in the northeast.
There are a dozen varieties in the picture above and center. Name them all and the farm is yours! Notice all the different appearances. Hopefully a diversity of tastes ensues.