This post'll have to be quick..I'm headed to work soon.
I'm hearing a lot of mention about experimentation growing grains from home. With food prices and availability being what they are (and not appearing to be headed the other direction any time soon), we're all having to consider moving our supplier from the supermarket to our own backyards. This is comfortable for us to a point, but what about growing grains and things we'd usually buy in bulk from a larger source?
I just wanted to post something about the grain, Teff. It's something I ran across when glutting myself with gorgeous reading on native/traditional foods of Africa and the Middle East. Teff is an ancient grain with the distinction of being very low gluten. But you had me at "ancient."
What's great about low gluten? There are a lot of folks out here with a sensitivity to higher gluten grains such as wheat. My sis has recently been diagnosed with such sensitivities...some are downright allergic to gluten.
Another interesting thing is that Teff is Ethiopia's primary traditional grain...the fermented flatbread that's really more like a pancakey crepe is called Injera. It's cooked on a griddle and used by hand in lieu of a untensil to carefully pick up bites of cooked food (and it's juices)and eat them. I had some Injera at an Ethiopian restaurant, and it was served where you could use it to select bites from a communal (at your own table) dish of stewed meat or vegetables...delicious!
In reading more about Teff, it seems it's been making its way closer to home. Teff grains are not its only virtue...the plant itself makes a good fodder plant. I know it's being grown in Kansas and Oklahoma, and the brief research I've seen has shown it seems to be able to weather both wet weather and conditions as well as droughts.
I love exploring "ancient" plants, and I'm looking for some teff grains to test in our kitchen, especially to ferment some batches of Injera, which looks very straightforward and easy. The fact it's adaptable to extending the growing season and to be a good forage for livestock is an added bonus. I can see us doing a test plot soon if it's really that adaptable.
If you've had any experience with this grain, we'd love to hear from you! If you experiment with it, we'd love to hear your adventures :)