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Wild Grass Seed/Grain

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:32 pm
by MetSox
Hello! I have been out lately attempting to find a wild grass that produces sufficient grains for milling, and I happened across a tall (about 4-5 foot) grass stalk, tan in color, that looks very much like a miniature wheat stalk. The little stems where the grains are protruding droop, and have little needle-points as well, on their ends. The grains/seeds are about half an inch, or a quarter of an inch long, and out of curiosity, I took a stalk, stripped several seeds and ground them with a rock, producing a little white powdery substance on the rock and surface where I was grinding. Not *all* of the seeds produced the little bit of flour that the few did, but is this because perhaps these grains are not fully grown yet?

Also, how would I go about planting these? Do I simply throw the grains on the ground, or plant them as one would a.. say, flower seed?

Any help is much appreciated, thank you! :)

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:16 pm
by thanrose
Could be a sorghum, like johnsongrass. Not all grass seeds are edible. Some are associated with poisoning of cattle, as in johnsongrass. Most wild grasses in the US are hard to harvest cleanly, and hard to process. The chaff and awns may not separate from the grain.

Your plant could have come from anywhere, including bird seed mixes or in the tread of some soldier's boot.

Millet from bird seed is often growing wild and will produce nice clean seed for grinding.

The fact that you could crush the seed to a fine powder indicates it was probably mature enough to plant. Most grass seeds can be scattered on the surface, but a scant cover of soil might help with germination.

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:52 pm
by MetSox
So, would you say Johnson grass is not suitable for grinding, eating, etc.? I checked a few pictures of it on the USDA site, as well as Google Images, and it seems Johnson grass has a reddish tint to it, but mine is completely tan as sand.. - perhaps though, it's not always reddish. Hm.

Thanks for telling me of millet! We have some birdseed here, and it seems to be entirely comprised of the stuff! Will millet, as well, plant and grow by simply sprinkling down on the ground, with light dirt on top to help germination?

Also, there was another seed I found in the birdseed that I think is durum wheat, because not only does it look like the images I found, but it is VERY tough and solid, as durum is described to be. I crushed the piece I found (requiring more effort than I assumed) and it made a beautiful powder!