(Rye Do You Think That’s Corny?)
North Carolina may not be known as “the cereal bowl,” but you’ll be surprised at the variety of grains grown and sold locally.
Aside from the fields of corn you notice along country roads, you might have overlooked other grains growing nearby. Amaze your friends with these fun facts on what’s growing in North Carolina today:
1. Buff Barley
a. Grown in Mount Ulla, NC.
b. In 1324 Edward II of England standardized the inch as equal to “three grains of barley, dry and round, placed end to end lengthwise.” The foot, the yard, the mile, and all other English measurements followed on.
c. Gladiators in ancient Rome were known as “Barley Men” because they ate a lot of barley, believing it gave them more strength and energy than any other food.
d. Nutritionally, barley’s lower in carbs, higher in protein and contains more fiber – a whopping 17% — than all the other whole grains. It’s especially high in soluble beta-glucan fiber which helps to reduce cholesterol, lower blood sugar and improve immune system function.
e. Beer can be brewed from barley.
a. Grown in Tyner, NC
b. One acre of soybeans can produce 82,368 crayons.
c. U.S. farmers first grew soybeans as cattle feed.
d. Soybean products where you least expect them: plastics, textiles, candles, hair-care products, cleaning products – and soy ink is used to print textbooks and newspaper.
e. The soybean is the highest natural source of dietary fiber
f. The US grows more soybeans than anywhere else in the world.
3. Copious Corn
a. America’s number one field crop is grown in Elizabeth City, NC.
b. Corn is the only whole grain that’s also a vegetable.
c. One bushel (1 bushel=56 pounds ) of corn will sweeten more than 400 cans of soda.
d. According to the Whole Grains Council, corn “has the highest level of antioxidants of any grain or vegetable.”
e. Non GMO! In order to be certified organic, the corn that Reedy Fork uses must be GMO free.
4. Freewheeling Wheat Midds or Middlings
a. Grown in nearby Graham, NC.
b. Great source of protein, fiber and phosphorous for livestock animals.
c. Due to its low cost and availability, it’s being researched for its potential as a biofuel, particularly in fluidized bed combustion, a technology used in power plants in the US.
5. World-Wide Wheat
a. Grown in Tyner, NC and in 42 states in the US.
b. Wheat, a grassy type cereal grain, is grown all over the world.
c. More than 17,000 years ago, humans first gathered seeds of these plants, rubbed off the husks and ate the kernels.
d. The word “cereal” originates from Ceres, the Roman goddess who was believed to be the protector of grains.
e. In 1777, wheat was first planted in the US as a hobby crop. Today, about three-fourths of all grain products in this country are derived from wheat flour.
6. Roof-worthy Rye (Or How Rye I Am)
a. Part of the grass family, rye grows well in cooler climates where wheat won’t.
b. Russia is the top producer of rye in the world.
c. Rye can be used to make roofs, but it’s more commonly used to make whiskey, gin and vodka.
d. Rye has a lower gluten content than wheat and contains more soluble fiber than wheat.
7. Super Sorghum
a. Also grown in Mount Ulla, NC and also known as Milo.
b. Benjamin Franklin is believed to have introduced the first grain sorghum crop to the US.
c. Sorghum dates back to Egypt 2000 BC and today Africa produces 20 million tons of sorghum per year.
d. Sorghum grows in a wide variety of soil and climates with a consistent performance. That’s why it’s often chosen for arid areas that don’t have substantial irrigation.
e. Choose your favorite sorghum form: cook it like rice, make it into porridge, malt it for beer, bake it in flatbreads or pop it like popcorn.
Gracious grains, that’s a lot of information! If you want to remember one thing, it’s this: Reedy Fork continues to supply the organic feed you need for your flock or favorite barnyard animals. When it’s time to place your order for organic grains, do it right here!