[Market-farming] Buckwheat

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Sun Jun 12 20:45:50 EDT 2011


Ben

By two crops I mean, two crops.  In a perfect year you can grow two crops of buckwheat back to back for harvest.  The first crop is prime.  The second has about half the height.  Buckwheat grows quickly.  If you are far north chances are you will not be able to do this.

I actually harvest buckwheat.  It has a value as a milled gluten free flour.  You are talking cover crop though so there are other issues there.  I will be growing a single crop on pasture this year as it is too late to do a decent pasture planting.  So we'll wait till fall to plant.  In the meantime I will plant buckwheat on the ground using a drill at 60# per acre.  I will then wait till it seeds and dries and then run our old F2 Gleaner though it harvesting the seed, some of which I will mill into flour and the rest I will use for seed (for myself and to sell to others).

When you use it as a cover crop it does an EXCELLENT job choking weeds and just about everything else.   I would be wary to use it with asparagus as right now is the time it needs full sun to power up those roots for next year.  You are banking solar power for harvest.  I in the mind that buckwheat will overshadow and choke it out and not be a positive factor in this crop.

Buckwheat also does a lot of work with phosphates and calciums and I am not too sure if that would help or hinder asparagus.  It is great to run back to back with say a nitrogen fixing cover crop or in the case of high Ph and poor quality soils asa cash crop when nothing else will grow as you slowly recondition the soil.

Hope that helps.  I am still in my infancy with buckwheat, heck, one could argue I am still in just starting out with everything I do.  Ten years in some and I am still learning as I go.  There may be someone else on this forum that has different result with buckwheat.  What I do not like about buckwheat is what I do not like about spelt.  I need to dehull before I mill and that is another piece of equipment I do not have.  I actually mill the buckwheat hulls with the berries and sift them out.

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
http://www.carriagehousefarmllc.com
rstewart at zoomtown.com

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