Island Grains

Info & Resources

If you know of a useful resource to add to this page, please share it below!

Grains 101

Information on different kinds of grains is available here.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question about how to grow your own grains, it's probably answered here.

Grain Seed Suppliers

Salt Spring Seeds
Johnny's Seeds
Prairie Garden Seeds
Full Circle Seeds
Sunshine Farm
Seed Savings Exchange
Castor River Farm (silver hull buckwheat)
Your local baker/miller
Your local organic store (Caution: you may not be able to tell if you're getting winter/spring varieties, or seed that's been heat-treated and therefore won't germinate. Avoid "groats" and anything that's been "pearled," "flaked" or "rolled.")

USA Sources (with thanks to Anthony Boutard for these tips!)
Kusa Seed Society
Bountiful Gardens
Welter Seed & Honey Co.
Heritage Wheat Conservancy

Books About Growing Grains

Small-Scale Grain Raising, by Gene Logsdon (2nd edition now available via Chelsea Green publishing)
The Encyclopedia of Country Living, by Carla Emery
Demeter's Wheats, by Sharon Rempel (with a spiritual/political angle)

Books About Eating Grains

Super Breakfast Cereals: Whole grains for good health and great taste, by Katharina Gustavs
Amazing Grains, by Joanne Saltzman

Grains on the Web

Deconstructing Dinner podcasts re: grain CSA in the Kootenays
100-Mile Diet column in The Tyee re: grains
Small-scale grain & pulse production blog (thanks to Tom Henry for forwarding!)
Website re: the life-cycle of wheat (thanks to Sharon Rempel for forwarding!)
"Grains for the Garden" article by Dan Jason, published in Small Farm Canada magazine.
"Ancient Grains" article by Av Singh, published in Canadian Organic Grower magazine, Winter 2007 issue
"Grain in the Garden" article by Dan Jason, published in Canadian Organic Grower magazine, Winter 2007 issue

Grain Tips & Tricks

"Roasting grains before dehulling greatly increases the efficiency of any method you choose."
- Gene Logsdon, Small-Scale Grain Raising

Small-Scale Grain Machinery

Ferrari Tractor
The All-Crop Harvester
Lawrence's Homemade Thresher
More home-made threshers/winnowesr

Island Grains In the News

Sowing the Seeds Series
"Growing Grain in Cowichan" by Sarah Simpson (Island Grains member), Cowichan Valley Citizen, January 7, 2009
"Following an Historic Path" by Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen, February 13, 2009
"Choosing Your Crop" by Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen, March 25, 2009
"Local Seed vs. Big Guns" by Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen, May 20, 2009
"Growing a Crop Heritage" by Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen, June 5, 2009
"Preparing the Harvest for the Plate" by Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen, July 24, 2009
"Getting My Hands Dirty" by Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen, August 5, 2009
"The Harvest: What's the Shoe For?" by Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen, October 2, 2009
"Last Stop: The Stomach" by Sarah Simpson, Cowichan Valley Citizen, December 11, 2009

"Going with the Grain" by Jason Brown, Monday Magazine, January 14, 2009
"Grow Your Own Bread" by James Glave, The Tyee, February 10, 2009
"Killing Worms" by Rick Juliusson (Island Grains member), April 19, 2009
"Zero-Mile Bread" by Rick Juliusson (Island Grains member), November 11, 2009

Comments (13) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Do you have a source for Durham wheat? In stock?
    Thanks for your assistance.

  2. Hi,

    I am seeking unhulled barley in qty of about 50 pounds. I do not really have a place to grow it but I would like to use it for brewing. I live in Montreal and was wondering if you know of a grower in this area?

    Please let me know. This is my first time visiting your website and I have added it to my favorites as I found it very interesting.

    Thank you,


  3. Hi, thanks so much for this great resource! We are searching high and low for camelina seed in bulk quantities. Can you point us in the right direction? Thanks!

  4. We sell an affordable foot-powered grain thresher that allows small-scale growers to quickly and easily thresh wheat, rice, and dried beans. Please see the Youtube video below to view the machine threshing wheat.

  5. Hello there!
    Very interesting site and resource. I wonder if you can make any suggestions about where I might buy a few hundred lbs. of barley, either food grade or malting grade. I live in St.Laurent, Quebec. I am a home brewer and I have been malting my own grain by using feed grade barley. The results are good, but this type of grain(feed grade) adds challenge to the brewing process due mainly to its higher protein content and lower yield or mashing efficiency. Any tips would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  6. Hi I harvested my quinoa the other day as it had all changed color and started to fall over with the weight of the seed heads. Is it too early? What do I do now with the stalks I cut off? Thanks

  7. I had a curious experience. I cleared an area for a new garden on Cortes Island and sowed some wheat and rye the first year. I got a pretty good crop from that, but ever since, when I’ve sowed the same grains for the last 4-5 years, I have not gotten anything, not even any germination. Do you have any insights as to why this has happened or how I might get grains to grow again? I also have had similar experience with quinoa.

  8. I live in rural northeast Bulgaria on an acre and half smallholding. Half is down to vegetable gardens, and maize. The rest to grazing and hay. My step family is slowly leaving the nest and soon will be Ani and I, and Mitko.. So will reduce garden but still produce as much of what we need as we can. We can grow more animal food,with a smaller garden, but wheat could be apart of the change. Advice?

  9. additional seed suppliers:

    Sustainable Seed Company
    amaranth, barley, buckwheat, millet, oat, quinoa, rye, triticale, wheat

    Victory Seed Company
    maize, sorghum

    Adaptive Seeds
    amaranth, barley, buckwheat, camelina, maize, millet, oat, quinoa, rye, wheat (ancient and modern)

    Wild Garden Seed
    huauzontle, quinoa

    Siskiyou Seeds
    amaranth, barley, maize, quinoa, sorghum, wheat (khorasan)

  10. We just bought a 20 acre farm in Enumclaw, I’m interested in growing oats and wheat for our family. I have been able to grow quinoa very successfully, but grains are new for us. Any suggestions for the variety? Planting tips, etc, would be greatly appreciated! We will have 6 to 8 acres that we would love to use for that.

  11. Looking to buy whole sheaves of wheat but I’m having an an extremely hard time finding them anywhere that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
    I understand they are out of season.

  12. I am wondering if any one might be able to point me in the direction of a grain grower who sells locally on Vancouver Island.

Leave a comment

Trackbacks are disabled.