Growing Grains: The Final Frontier in Edible Gardening

samplesRecently my office moved to a new location with a large cafeteria. The food is good and the bonus is the monthly educational program presented by registered dietitian nutritionists to promote healthy eating. This month the focus was on whole grains. Rachel Griffin, RDN, LDN, gave samples of a mixed grain and bean salad made with quinoa, barley, kidney beans, chick peas, black and white beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and parsley. Full of fiber and protein, this cold grain and bean dish was very tasty. In addition, Rachel had a guessing game where people were supposed to label the six containers of uncooked grains: brown rice, quinoa, farro, millet, amaranth, and barley. I was almost correct; I could not tell the difference between the millet and the quinoa–both looked like bird seed. Rachel explained that the millet was all one color and the quinoa came in three colors, from bone to tan to black.grains

From a gardener’s view it is possible to grow some grains here in Virginia, I just have never tried it yet (it is on that “when I retire” list).  I do grow the veggies and beans found in this particular recipe, which I will try to make myself because I have made the pulse pledge this year (see my January 25 post on 2016 is the International Year of Pulses, https://pegplant.com/2016/01/25/celebrate-the-international-year-of-the-pulses-eat-more-beans/).

If you are interested in growing grains, you might want to check out #CrazyGrainLady. Although I have never met her in person, I follow her site because I too am interested in foodscaping. Brienne Gluvna Arthur lives in a typical North Carolina suburban home where she incorporates edibles into her landscape but has gone the extra mile of growing grains, including wheat. Check out her site, https://briegrows.com/2016/02/09/crazy-grain-lady/.

mixed grain bean salad recipe

 

 

2 responses to “Growing Grains: The Final Frontier in Edible Gardening

  1. How interesting! I’ve been thinking about trying some of the “pseudo-grains” like buckwheat or amaranth, as I figured they might be easier. I don’t really have the space like the grain lady. Beans, on the other hand, I am all about! I especially like to grow beans I can harvest fresh or dry, like lima beans and black eyed or cow peas. happy gardening!

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  2. Thanks for the article. I always wondered about growing grains here in NJ and which ones will grow well and which won’t. I’ll definitely check out #CrazyGrainLady.

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