Yes, you can grow your own wheat, rye, oats, barley and more.
We're all pretty used to grain being grown in the Prairies on massive tracts of land, relying on tractors, combines and other expensive machinery. And yes, it makes sense to grow grain this way, in order to produce enough to feed ourselves and those in other countries. That said, it is entirely reasonable to grow grains on a small scale -- enough to feed yourself, your family, and maybe some friends.
While yields vary depending on the grain, your climate, soil fertility, weather, and other factors, it's entirely possible to grow 60lbs of wheat (for example) on 1/40 of an acre, or approximately 1,100 sq.ft. And you don't even need to own a combine. Grains such as wheat, rye, quinoa, barley and oats grow quite well here on the West Coast: it's just a matter of know-how.
IslandGrains.com is here to provide that know-how. This website is dedicated to providing easy-to-understand, step-by-step information on how to grow wheat, barley, oats, quinoa and other grains on a small scale (e.g. your garden).
Using This Website
There are many, many individuals and organizations out there with invaluable information of benefit to small-scale grain growers. We hope that this website will become a central resource to help connect potential grainies with that information. To this end, we will continue to update our Information & Resources section as our own learning increases. Other helpful sections under ongoing development are:
- Grains 101 (a collection of information regarding all the different kinds of grains available to backyard growers, with pros and cons from a West Coast small-scale grain growers' perspective)
- How to Grow Your Own Grains (a summary of information gathered through our 2009 & 2010 workshops, personal experience, and found resources, featuring input from some of the most knowledgeable and passionate grainies on the West Coast)
We also invite you to post your own experiences, advice, cautions and comments.
What is Island Grains?
Founded by Brock and Heather of Makaria Farm, Island Grains is a resource and support network for those of us interested in backyard grain growing. Island Grains launched as a hands-on workshop experience in 2009, and offered Vancouver Island's first grain CSA in 2010. As of 2011, Island Grains exists as an online resource to encourage knowledge sharing throughout the West Coast and beyond.