China Black Rice

This heritage variety from China was part of the 2018 trials. I obtained my initial seed stock from a South Carolina rice farmer. It is very dwarf in stature (2 foot) and produced a huge number of tillers. Half of the tillers still had green rice when I finally decided to harvest on September 27th (123 days from transplanting). The grains themselves were beautiful dark purple and this variety experiences zero issues with lodging during heavy periods of rain. I would suggest that China Black would be better suited for regions with a longer growing season than Northern Indiana, and it may need to be grown in a paddy or at least, given more water than upland types to produce higher.

This is a non sticky black rice variety with a nutty flavor. High in antioxidants!

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. 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/

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