Grains provide the bulk of nutrition to almost the entire world’s billions of people. In most parts of the world we rely heavily on only eight or so species of plants for grain – wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, oats, barley, rye and millet.
While each of the crops is effective in producing a vast array of foods, they are expensive and time consuming to grow, can produce harmful effects on the environment and soil and just aren’t suited to Australia’s harsh climate.
We must stop relying on these crops and instead look at harvesting native Australian grains, like Alpine Rice.
After years and years of careful breeding, Australian company Native Seeds P/L, have produced a native grain that is just as beneficial to our diets as other super grains, such as chia and quinoa.
Alpine Rice is a beneficial alternative to annual crops as it is less time consuming to grow, causes less damage from repeated cultivation, is suited to Australia’s termperate climate and is much better for the environment.
One in ten Australians is gluten intolerant. From bread to pasta, families must now be very selective with everything they buy at the supermarket. Unlike many other grain crops grown in Australia, Alpine Rice is gluten free. It also is made up of 22% protein, so is a fantastic inclusion to our diets.
Unlike annual crops, Alpine Rice grows for more than one season. This means farmers can spend much less time re-sowing the crop each year for harvest, which is also less costly.
Repeated cultivation of annual crops removes the soil’s organic matter. As the crops die each year, they leave the soil free of living green matter and reduce the amount of necessary carbon in the earth – this results in the following season’s crops being less able to absorb rainfall.
Alpine Rice does not require repeated cultivation so, instead, enriches the soil with living green matter and carbon.
Unlike annual crops, native grasses are able to survive a drought. The seeds thrive and can produce a grain crop at the end of the wet seasons but don’t need to compete for moisture during the dry months, therefore they provide somewhere for stock to graze before the crop is ready to seed again.
Annual crops require the use of selective herbicides to remove weeds and allow them to grow. Many weed species have now developed resistance to some chemicals, which means farmers must seek an alternative herbicide, increase the dose they’re using or start the crop all over again – all of these alternatives are harmful to the environment.
If you’re looking for an affordable and tough alternative to annual grains, that is also much better for the native environment, consider investing in or growing Alpine Rice. This protein-rich, gluten free grain is a first in Australian agriculture and is perfect for any environmentally conscious farmer.