En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - June 08, 2011

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Groups promoting Edible Grasses
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Is there a group of people who want to study and grow edible grasses? Thanks!

ANSWER:

  Mr Smarty Plants is well aquainted with those folks, I think they are called farmers!  They grow massive amounts of well known grasses such as wheat, barley & rice and feed us all.  The place of study is generally within the horticulture department of our major Universities; here is a link to the Horticulture Department at TAMU.  I also found a link to the Grain Science & Industry Department at KSU.

   Now that I've stopped chuckling, I'm expecting that since you asked Mr Smarty Plants, you are actually concerned about studying and growing Native Grasses

  It seems the people in the UK have a number of societies and groups with missions that are related to this.  There is British Grassland and the Irish Seed-Savers,  The Gloucestershire Root Fruit & Grain Society in Gloucester, England appears to sponsor competitions.   More internationally, there is a group called GRAIN, who claim to be a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. [!!]

  In the US, most of the references I found were to groups that promote native grassses and grasslands, rather than grains.  These include the California Native Grass Association and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.  The SWC society publishes an e-book on Farming with Grass.

  If we move away from the specific reference to grasses, though, It turns out that we have an expert and a group that you can explore much closer to home.   Scooter Cheatham is a Texas author and has participated in The Texas Legacy Project.  His major effort over the past 30 years has been to direct, illustrate, write, edit and lay out the Encyclopedia of the Useful Wild Plants of Texas, a 12-volume, 6000-page work produced by the Useful Wild Plants Project.  If you explore the Useful Wild Plants Project pages, you will see that they include grasses in their subjects, and that they encourage membership, volunteering, and publish a newsletter. 

                   
Glycyrrhiza lepidota
        Zizania texana                            Elymus canadensis 

[A note to the cautious - - Appropriate pictures but not necessarily edible!]

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants for steep embankment on the Missouri River in Nebraska
July 01, 2009 - Hi, My embankment along the Northeast Nebraska shoreline of the Missouri River is eroding the land away. Do you have any suggestions for seed I could throw over the side of the bank that would grow...
view the full question and answer

Native grass for caliche soil in Austin
February 06, 2010 - I am interested in using native grasses in part of my lawn per the recent article on these from the Wildflower Center. The problem is I live W. of Austin where there is very little top soil and calic...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for horse and cattle forage in Hockley, Texas
April 03, 2011 - I would like to know the best type of native hay to seed on 10 acres in Hockley, Tx. The hay will be used for forage for horses and a milk cow. We would like to go completely organic and not use any ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion in IL
August 02, 2012 - We just got done building a house and have leveled all of the dirt piles. We do have a row of straw bales to help prevent the dirt from washing onto the neighbors property. It is the wrong time of ye...
view the full question and answer

Low growing erosion control plants for lakeside in Washington Township NJ
May 12, 2013 - I live on a small lake in Northern NJ and have installed beautiful Boulders along the water to help stop erosion. Now I want to add plants along the property but would like low growing, soil retentio...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center