Bluebonnet rice

shuffles_gwSeptember 12, 2012

Bluebonnet rice at six weeks - fertilized with rabbit pellets. Yeah, I know they are planted too closely. This is my first time growing rice.

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wallisadi

full sun, water.....??? keep posting pics, thanks......m

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 5:56PM
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shuffles_gw

The rice is in full sun in my garden, which is poorly drained and tends to be very wet, but not underwater, in summer whenever we get excessive rains. Due to circumstances, I planted about a month late. I plan to post more photos as this progresses. This year I just hope to get seed for next year and to share.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:03AM
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corar4gw(JAX9A)

Love the idea of growing rice, but can the deer get to it?
cora

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:56AM
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shuffles_gw

Cora,
I live in the city where there are no deer. I imagine the deer would love the rice plants, though.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 5:36PM
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happy_fl_gardener

How did you decide on what variety of rice to grow?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:46PM
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shuffles_gw

'How did you decide on what variety of rice to grow?'

It wasn't very difficult. There are very few varieties available in small amounts. Bluebonnet was the only one advertised as upland, non-paddy, rice. This is what Baker Creek says about it:
"A traditional rice grown by native Mayan people who call it "Blue Bonnet". Collected by Mennonite farmers who have a community near Belmopan, it was given to them by their Mayan neighbors in the town of Armenia, Belize. This is an upland rice variety as it does not need to be flooded and can be grown in regular garden soil. Very productive plants. Here are the "growing instructions" we have for this seed:
Warm weather - plant after last frost. Short season, start indoors about the same time you would tomatoes, but still may not have much luck.
Needs rich soil (good Nitrogen)
plant 5 to 6 inches apart both ways if planting in a bed, or 2 to 3 inches apart with 1 to 2 foot between if planting in rows.
Need to keep weeds down and keep the soil moist.
Growers in TN planted in mid May and harvested in Mid September."

Here is a link that might be useful: bluebonnet rice

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 6:45AM
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happy_fl_gardener

Shuffles ~ Thanks for the bluebonnet rice info. Please post a pic of the rice with grain on it later. I have to wonder if the young greens could be used for juicing, like what people use for wheat grass juice?

Christine

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 7:15PM
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shuffles_gw

Bluebonnet rice at 13 weeks/3 months. At this point, there is a milky white liquid in the forming seeds.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 5:08PM
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mrs_tlc

Thank you for the updated picture Shuffles. I'm anxious to see more as you get closer to harvest!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 5:43PM
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happy_fl_gardener

Wow. Look at those plants! I'm still watching for your updates too.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 7:44AM
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wallisadi

that's incredible! like to watch the progress of the plants in the pictures.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 5:47AM
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shuffles_gw

At 15 weeks - getting ripe.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:58AM
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happy_fl_gardener

Thanks for the update.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:01AM
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shuffles_gw

Four months tomorrow. Hopefully harvest this weekend. I need the space for my onions. Harvest photos to follow.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 5:28PM
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pnbrown

Wow, that's gorgeous! I bet you will be blown away by the taste.

I tried blue bonnet two summers ago here in z7MA and it grew well but didn't make it to mature grain before frost, not too surprisingly. I have a place in central fla but the very poor excessively drained sand there would never support rice.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 7:50AM
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shuffles_gw

Threshing rice

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:54PM
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shuffles_gw

Blubonnet bounty:

Two fourteen foot rows, three feet apart

Approximately 120 seeds

Four months to harvest

One week drying

8.8 pounds of rice produced (unhulled)!

I was expecting a pound or two!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 1:01PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Shuffles - You work hard for your rice! Good for you, love the pictures, at least somebody is laughing.:)

Silvia

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 1:07PM
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writersblock

That's an impressive harvest!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 1:10PM
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happy_fl_gardener

Shuffles - It was an adventure to follow you through this growing experience. Very fascinating. I never knew that rice could be grown this far south and without sitting in water.

Let us know how you cooked it. :)

Christine

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 8:54PM
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shuffles_gw

Thank you to all who have shown interest and support in this adventure. Bluebonnet rice is one beautiful plant. It has been a fun adventure, and one that is not over yet. The next steps are to figure out how to dehull the grains and then the cooking and eating.

I now have plenty of seed to share with anyone interested in trying to grow rice. I found it was very easy. For Central Florida, I think the best time to plant would be at the onset of the rainy season - end of June or beginning of July. I planted a month late and had to irrigate for a month after the rainy season ended. All in all, it worked out well.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 9:18AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

T - very nice harvest! I'll be right over for some rice and beans ;-) As much room as you have I'm sure you'll figure out a way to grow both the rice and the onions next season.

Tom

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 9:21AM
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writersblock

>next steps are to figure out how to dehull the grains

Yes, I was wondering how you planned to do that. Please keep updating this thread.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 10:55AM
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shuffles_gw

writersblock,

It seems like I saw mention of heating the rice as part of the dehulling - the reason you can't plant brown rice from the store. That was before planting. Of course, now that I have rice I can find no mention of that part of dehulling.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:03PM
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writersblock

Hmm, I don't know very much about it, but I thought the heating was to help eliminate any moisture before storage, although I suppose commercial mills do this all in one process.

This is about all I know about milling:

Here is a link that might be useful: milling methods

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:11PM
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pnbrown

A very pleasing result! What was your fertilizer regimen?

If I ever change locations in fla I'll be looking for a place with some poorly drained soil on it.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 5:54PM
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rene09

When I was a child my father grew rice here in central Fl. I rememer him cuttining ,threshing & spreading it indoors in a barn to dry but it was sold so don't know about the hulling, that has been years ago!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 8:12PM
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shuffles_gw

writersblock, thanks for the link. I hadn't seen that one. I didn't think the hulls would make up 20% of the total weight.

pnbrown, a couple times I drenched the plants with Miracle Grow when the plants were small, maybe six or seven inches tall. At about 3 weeks I side dressed the rows with two bags of rabbit pellets. That was all. One bag of rabbit pellets was fresh and dry, while the other had gotten wet and was partially composted. The plants that got the fresh pellets were a few inches taller at maturity, but they seemed to have less rice. I don't think you necessarily need poorly drained soil for upland rice, but it can't hurt. Aside from containers, it is all I have.

This post was edited by shuffles on Tue, Dec 11, 12 at 7:24

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 11:02AM
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pnbrown

Maybe with enough bio-char in it I could grow rice in my excessively drained astatula sand.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:50PM
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shuffles_gw

I planted a month earlier than last year but didn't thin, weed or fertilize. Still, it has done well. And I think the timing has been much better. The rains stopped just when they were no longer needed. I think this plant is a beauty. I also think it could become a pest - slightly invasive.

Then there is the side story of the cardinal troop.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 6:12PM
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writersblock

Looks great. How did you wind up hulling last time and how much rice did you get after it was all done?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 7:35PM
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jay-wpb(10 FL)

Would love to hear about the hulling. My dad was a rice farmer and the only thing we needed somone else to do was hull the paddy. If you want brown rice (healthier) you have to stem the paddy then dry it and finally mill (hull) it. If you want white rice, you just dry it and mill (hull) it.
The byproducts of hulling is great food for poultry

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 6:51AM
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shuffles_gw

I was never able to hull last year's harvest. I tried several methods but none worked. I didn't try any heating method. What I ended up doing was to sell most of it to a seed company. DW and I had a nice dinner out on the proceeds. Short of a good hulling method, probably the best that could be done is use the grain for sprouts or chicken feed.

As for the cardinals: in winter and spring we usually have a pair that raises a family. You know, one pair per yard. The last few years I have been noticing that four to six juveniles take up residence during the summer. Maybe the adults go north. Usually we have lots of sunflowers that they like to eat. Due to excessive rain this year, the sunflowers didn't make it. I had some early volunteer rice that they ate on till the main crop came in. They ate some around the perimeter, sometimes perching on the top and sometimes dragging the seed heads to the ground. However, after the rice got hard, they gave up and lately have been after crape myrtle seeds - along with the squirrels and jays.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 5:47PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

So, what will you do with it this time? If you find a way to hull it you've caught my interest ;-)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 7:14PM
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happy_fl_gardener

Shuffles ~ If you figure out the hulling method, that would be wonderful. I bet some of us would give growing this rice a try.

Christine

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 7:43PM
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