NEW for 2018
Amaura is a traditional landrace from Uzbekistan. It is an upland variety and did fantastic for me this season (2017). It has proven to be the earliest of all my upland varieties. The grain heads started emerging from the flag leaves a full 10 days earlier than Duborskian. I hand harvested select, early maturing grain panicles on August 15th and completed the harvest (cutting the whole plant) on September 3rd. The plants themselves are stunningly beautiful with a deep contrast between the dark green foliage and the reddish grain heads. The rice kernels are not red, just the husk. Amaura would be classified as a short grain brown rice. The plants reached a height of 38″ and produced a fair amount of tillers. The yield was similar to the Duborskian this season at 12 pounds per 100 square foot.
Rice seeds should be soaked in water 24 hours before planting. I start my plants indoors in April in plug flats, 50’s and transplant into beds after the last frost date. I recommend not leaving plants in flats for more than three weeks as the starts will yellow easily and weaken when root-bound. Here in Northern Indiana, I plant my rice plugs the last week of May. I plant into 4′ wide beds. This makes adding bird netting over the tops of the plants an easy chore using 5′ t-posts and twine. The plants are spaced 9″ apart in the beds. Upland rice requires about the same amount of water as corn, around 1″ per week during the growing season. The plants will begin to form seed heads in August. At maturity the rice husks will turn to a golden brown and the rice seed inside will be hard. I harvest in late September, cutting the whole plant and bundling into groups of 4. These bundles are then hung in my drying shed for a few weeks until the plant is fully dry. At this point threshing is easy by hand (pulling the grains off) or using a threshing machine. I use a treadle (foot) powered thresher. Rice has an inedible husk that needs to be removed before eating. The most primitive way to accomplish this is by pounding the grains with a stick or mallet on a wood surface (tree stump) in order to loosen the husks. There are small rice dehullers available but very difficult to locate. Brill Engineering offers online tutorials on how to build a small dehuller using easy to locate “off the shelf” parts. http://www.brillengineering.com/
- Alternative planting method. In the spring of 2017 I experimented with direct seeding rice into beds in late May. I had success with early maturing varieties. I recently learned that rice can be direct seeded even earlier; possibly at the beginning of May or late April. I would suggest you conduct some small trials if you are interested in this method. Transplanting has proven to be very reliable for 5 years in a row. Direct seeding is a new concept for me and I can not guarantee the results for any given variety. I am growing in a zone 5b (moving towards a 6).
I will add a flavor profile for Amaura once I have an opportunity to cook some.
- Amaura Rice
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# Option Price 1 7 grams (approx. 200 seeds) $4.50
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