Hell’s Canyon Millet

Setaria italic                 90 days

Hell’s Canyon is a foxtail millet (or finger millet) which is grown as an animal feed/ forage crop or for human consumption. The plants are quite ornamental and produce a fair amount of biomass for the compost pile. The 5′ tall plants are quite productive.  Hell’s Canyon is difficult to dehull for human consumption. I have had some success using my hand-crank rice dehuller. There is another method where the dry grain is slightly wetted, and then put into a food processor and pulsed a few times to loosen the hulls, then winnow the grain in front of a fan. I have included info at the bottom of this page on de-hulling options.  I direct seeded my plants the last week of May and harvested my first cutting of seed heads on September 1st. I hang the seed heads to dry a couple of weeks before threshing and winnowing. The seed should be planted 1/4” to 1/2” deep in rows or beds. Space 6” to 1′ foot apart. I tie up my plants with posts and twine around the bed to deter lodging. Birds can be a nuisance and I cover my beds with bird netting. This would probably not be necessary for a large plot.

Seed Saving: Pearl, Japanese, Hell’s Canyon and Proso are all different species and can be grown side by side without crossing.

*Here is a wonderful and simple recipe to make Roti (Indian Flat Bread). The recipe calls for Ragi (finger millet), but I used Hell’s Canyon. It was very delicious and incredibly easy to make.


hells canyon 2 1000 by 750hells canyon processing 1000 by 750bowl of hells canyon 1000 by 750

To remove the hulls I have found that my hand crank rice de-huller works great. I have also found another method for de-hulling millet using a small pulse coffee/spice grinder. There are links to the video and information about the rice huller on my “Traditional Tools and Technology ” page. Click the link below.


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