Josh & Meadow are in the midst of an interesting project, which has them cultivating rice paddies in…..Vermont?!?!? Yep, as of mid-September, the Green Mountain state is now a thriving, albeit small, producer of rice. Epicurious recently sat down with Josh & Meadow and discussed their project.
How has your first harvest been?
We were very confident that we could produce rice, but it was so exciting to have it actually happen! Everything worked out, and the rice started to grow like crazy. It was finally ready to harvest in mid-September. Rice grows several stalks, with rice seed bunches on each. We tied up the bunches individually so we could evaluate the quality of the seeds and the amount each plant produced—now we can selectively breed for traits we are looking for and develop our own variety that will work even better in Vermont. We have not threshed the rice yet. Once we do that, we will be able to tell how many pounds our little test paddy produced.
Will you eat some and replant the rest?
We will divide the rice into the seed rewards for our Kickstarter project, seed to plant out the acre we’re hoping to build this fall, and backup seed for the following year. The rest we get to eat! It’s amazing how much rice you can produce. We turned around 7 grams of viable rice into between 5 and 10 pounds of rice. Next year we will take a few pounds and turn it into thousands. It’s exponential growth, which we hope others in New England will start to enjoy.