Gardening and farming are major aspects of fully independent living. When you can grow your own food, you don’t need to rely on outside sources for nutrition. But what do you grow? How about rice?
Rice is one of the oldest crops that mankind has farmed. It’s easy to cook and surprisingly filling. It makes for a great filler for other dishes. It’s easy to store, too. But it can’t grow anywhere. The crop needs the right kind of environment to grow.
What do Rice Plants Need?
In short, rice needs heat, water, and space.
Rice needs warm temperatures to thrive. Ideally, you need at least 40 days of temperatures over 70 F. This includes overnight temps. So if you’re in a chillier area, you likely can’t grow it outside.
At the same time, rice needs plenty of water. We’re talking about literally drowning in water. Most plants want the water to sit about two inches above the dirt line. As they grow, this can go up to four inches. This lasts until harvest time, where the water should no longer be standing. If water restrictions are a concern, rice might not be for you. If you like in a hot climate with a nearby water source, however, you could potentially dig out a shallow extension to the water source for convenient watering.
Lastly is space. A single rice plant doesn’t actually yield much rice. If you want sustainable numbers, you may want to grow a fair number of rice plants, too many to keep indoors.
How to Harvest Rice
So let’s say everything is perfect. You live in a hot place with plenty of water and space. Here’s what to know when you have to harvest.
- A rice plant takes about four months to grow to harvest
- Rice plants change from green to gold when ready to harvest
- Cut and gather the panicles when harvesting
- Store panicles in a newspaper for two to three weeks in a dry place
- When dried out, roads in the oven at under 200 F for about an hour
- Remove hulls by hand and voila, the rice is ready for storage.
Happy harvesting, preppers.