Planting Buckwheat

The barley/rape pig pasture, disced and planted with Buckwheat.  I planted on June 19th.  I planted it at a rate of about sixty pounds per acre.  A fifty pound bag cost me 55 dollars.

While researching alternative crops due to a crop failure this spring, (I ended up replanting corn), I came across Buckwheat.  I learned enough about it to make me want to try some.  I called my local seed supplier and they could get me a fifty lb. bag.  I wasn’t sure when or where I would use it, but I wanted to have it on hand in case I had an opportunity.  When I saw how well the cattle and hogs ate the barley/rape field, leaving very little crop residue, I decided this was my opportunity, and with perfect timing.  It’s recommended to plant Buckwheat after June 15th in Wisconsin.

I’m not sure exactly how I’ll use Buckwheat.  I’ll probably end up grazing it with the cattle and hogs.  Some of the things which intrigued me were its nutritional profile.  It’s very high in Lysine, which is the most limiting amino acid in a corn/soy diet for swine.

It also produces a very dark, strong flavored honey when bees use it as their primary nectar source.  One acre of Buckwheat can be used by bees to produce 150 lbs. of honey according to the source I found.  I would like to try some Buckwheat honey.  Maybe I can get my beekeeper friends to place a hive close.

According to Wikipedia, Buckwheat is not a grain, and can be eaten by people with gluten intolerance.  I wonder what Buckwheat pancakes taste like?

8 Responses to Planting Buckwheat

  1. Buckwheat is DEE-licious! You can eat it like rice or quinoa, and if you mix in some cinnamon, vanilla, and dried fruit pieces, you have an excellent breakfast porridge 🙂 I’m not sure if there is a difference between grazing buckwheat and human consumption buckwheat, but if yours is a good quality type, I highly recommend saving some from the pigs 🙂

    I’m also almost surprised you don’t have any bees, I’m not sure why I pictured you having them.

  2. Would you please ship some of that honey to me?? I’ll send a check first.
    Yeah, honey! Check it out. Waldorf colleges always have a class on beekeeping. How vital to our existence!
    Some ground buckwheat too?

    Sigh….I need something fabulous to smell like the smell of a farm.
    The concrete is hardening my senses, not to mention, my brain.

    Hug from CA,

  3. ps. Buckwheat pancakes…you only need 2 small ones or 1 big one, depending on one’s activity. But if you have one, there’s never going back. In my long ago hippie days, I used to use fresh ground buckwheat, when health food stores had bins of grains and ground them for you. [Not so many aisles of pills].

    Everyone wanted to gather at my place for breakfast. A little tiny bit of heaven-on-earth with a little fruit, homemade yogurt & real maple syrup.
    Thanks for the memories.

  4. pfj says:

    It seems like you might be able to sell buckwheat (if you wanted to) to a specialty place, for making soba. It’s a Japanese pasta-type of thing.

    About 15 years ago, when I lived on the West Coast, a girl from Japan stayed with us for 3 weeks. It was a program for young Japanese to improve their English.

    While she was with us, I asked what was her favorite food — Japanese food. She said, “soba.”

    This article from the Los Angeles Times explains it:

    “According to the lore of Japanese cooks, it takes three years to perfect the subtle art of turning just buckwheat flour, wheat flour and water into elegant skeins of noodles:

    “one year to learn to mix the dough,

    “the second to learn to roll,

    “and the third to learn to cut the slender noodles by hand.

    “Because buckwheat flour doesn’t have any gluten (the matrix of proteins that holds dough together), mixing and kneading soba dough to its precise consistency and smoothness requires experience.”

    With the great increase in “foodies” and specialty foods in restaurants, probably you could find someplace on the East Coast that would love to get buckwheat direct from the field.

  5. Thank you for your comments. I’m amazed by the ardent support of Buckwheat. I’m going to start researching. It seems like a crop we need more of, especially considering all the potential honey that could be produced.
    I wonder how many other specialty crops are being under-produced? I know a wild relative of Quinoa grows as a weed on the farm, so I could probably grow that as well.

  6. Quinoa is my favorite “grain”, I probably eat too much of it. If you can grow Quinoa, try black and red quinoa. Try amarinth too.

  7. Toasted, I found this site, which excited me until I got to the part about harvest. I guess I would have to do this on a small scale. How much do you pay for your “grains”?

  8. wsblue says:

    sourdough buckwheat pancakes 100%buckwheat soba is the best! The world could sure use more of the gluten free grains!

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