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Friday, August 1, 2008

Buckwheat Trial

Last winter, I was reading about buckwheat and its quick turnaround....5 weeks from seeding to flowering! That's pretty quick and with our growing season, it sounded like it might work for us....


Some info about this trial run.....the bed I sowed the buckwheat into had a trailer load of horse manure put in there in early Spring 08. Then I put my hens in there on a daily basis, to start working thru the manure, breaking it down and fluffing it up.


When they were done, I broadcasted the buckwheat seed (on Jun 10) and raked it in....it got watered every day, as that whole berry bed is on a timer system.













By June 25, it looked like this























By July 16, it looked like this



































And by July 31, it looked like this. I wanted to get it cut down when it had just begun flowering, so it's at its nutritional best.

 

 














So today, Aug 1, I got in there and started cutting it down, using a pair of garden shears.

















Here you can see the bundles I cut....
















And the stubble I left behind....I will dig this under.















I gave the girls a taste, and they seemed to really like it.














We had a hard time figuring out where to dry the bundles. We're going to set it aside to try and use in winter for the hens feed.
The Gman suggested hanging it in Greenhouse 2...a perfect idea!
















I've got 21 bundles.....we'll see what happens as it starts to dry.
But, I'm happy with the way the trial turned out. Buckwheat can provide protein for the hens feed....if we could grow it on a larger scale, it would be great! I'm contemplating sowing buckwheat in the veggie garden, as things finish up in there and space allows.
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4 comments:

Linda said...

Wow Annie... that is great! You are such an inspiration... the greenhouse, who woulda thought of that? :)

Linda said...

Oh and I forgot... are you going to let it grow to make seeds in the future?

Linda said...

Hey annie what breed of hens are those? I like them... and they look much like what I want to get.

Annie said...

I laughed when he suggested it...I only walk in it twice a day and by it probably a dozen and I still needed him to point it out to me!!

No, I don't think I will let it seed there in that bed....but I am already thinking of somewhere else I can put the buckwheat in next year.

My laying hens are Hy-Line Brown....I also have some Devon hens, they are the same colours...pretty good layers of brown eggs. As far as I know, they are both from the Redsex Link side...

Annie