[Market-farming] Buckwheat

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Sun Jun 12 21:47:00 EDT 2011

Seeds will, as they always do, winter over.  They have a nice heavy hull.  Freezing temps kill plant.

Seriously, buckwheat is a GREAT cash crop that has been left by the wayside.  Farmers used to grow it everywhere in rotation with other crops.  Its one of these magical crops that does things to the soil that other crops do not.  Its not a nitrogen hog.  It produces a seed that can be milled into a flour.  It smothers undesirables as a cover crop.  It has a fast growing time and can be planted after a wheat harvest or before wheat planting.  Yet its fallen out of favor for wheat, soybeans, and corn.  Its pure dumb.  Any grain farmer these days should be growing anywhere between 4 to 7 different types of cash and cover crops to be sustainable and no one is except a few individuals who get it.  Even our farm isn't really on board in part because of flood plain, but that is slowly changing as we try to figure out how to do it with potatoes, corn, and, forage crops.  Oh yeah, and its a great honey crop.  Bees LOVE it and it produces an almost molasses like honey (both in flavor and color).

I love buckwheat.

I would not companion plant it with another crop (I define this as interplanting the cash crop crop with the buckwheat...or over seeding and existing crop.  Its not like , say, planting pasture/hay mix in soybeans prior to harvest, which works great.

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
rstewart at zoomtown.com

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