|Mature Rice Plant|
|Our acre of Carolina Gold|
So what is Carolina Gold? The rice is a variety which has a long history that dates back to plantation days in the Southeastern area of the country. Anson Mills, a mill down in South Carolina known for its Carolina Gold has some pretty informative facts about the rice and you can click here if you would like to read more about the history and properties of this delicious grain. Matt actually acquired our certified organic seed from Mr. Roberts. Matt called Mr. Roberts on the phone and he would not sell us the seed but that he was a seedsman and he would send us some Carolina Gold Rice Seed to plant.
|Carolina Gold Rice Seed from Anson Mills|
In 2014 Matt and I visited a farmer east of Asheville that was growing organic Carolina Gold and milling it to sell at markets around the area. We saw how he made his patties and talked with him about irrigation and flooding those fields, as well as how to harvest the rice.
|Planting rice seed in trays|
|We experimented with different size trays|
Matt's brother came down to help out just in time this season. We just found out we were expecting another child and while still working the local markets for our vegetables we needed help planting all that rice. From sunup to sundown, about a week it took to get that acre planted. By hand. Every ten inches. Once the seedlings were in, we really didn't have to do much. We may have watered once or twice; remember the reason we decided to grow was because of the amount of rain we get anyway. It worked great. Upon harvesting the rice in August, Matt invested in a hand sai or sickle. It took him 3 days sunup to sundown to reap all that rice with the help of Matt's friend Ben as well as Bella and Luke. It was hot and the mosquitoes were treacherous to say the least. He was alone on that venture, I felt bad for him out there but no way was I going to endure that pregnant with a 2 year old! Thanks for providing for the family honey! We rented a UHAUL, loaded up the rice, and drove to the mountains where we revisited our friend who so generously offered to let us use his harvesting
|First harvest of rice! Hard to believe one blade of grass produced this bunch of grain!|
|Lucas working hard!|
|Bella loving her jo|
|Uhaul full of rice.|
Next the rice needed to be threshed, cleaned and dried. You can see from the pictures we obviously need to invest in some equipment, but this was a great experience yielding a little over 200 lbs our first year. It is delicious to say the least. We eat it almost every night, whether it's cooked with stir fry, curries, or simply as a side dish. The rice seems to have a fragrance of floral undertones while cooking it and all I do is add a bouillon cube and let it cook down. Honestly, we went out to eat the other night (which we rarely do) and my dish was served with some kind of rice. I just couldn't eat it, I am so spoiled with the flavor of our rice and I can't even justify using anything else with my dishes until it runs out. But by then hopefully the next crop will be ready for harvest.
|Processing the rice|
|Drying the rice took at least 10-12 hours|
We plan to double our planting this season and focus on selling to restaurants, maybe some local markets and grocers. If you would like any other information or how to get your hands on any of our Carolina Gold, feel free to email us at email@example.com
|We store it in 5 gallons with bay leaves to keep bugs out|
|Carolina Gold Rice, Hartinger Style|