Growing Ancient Grains on the Homestead

What are ancient grains and why are they gaining popularity among health-conscious consumers?

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in ancient grains. These are grains that have been around for centuries and were an important part of the diet of early civilizations. Today, they are becoming popular again due to their nutritional value and health benefits. Ancient grains are a good source of fiber and essential nutrients, and they are also gluten-free. For many people, they are a healthier alternative to refined grains. Ancient grains can be used in a variety of ways, including as a cereal, in bread, or as a component of other dishes. As more people become aware of the health benefits of these grains, they are likely to become even more popular in the years to come.

How can you grow ancient grains at home, using either a garden or container plants?

For those interested in self-sufficiency, ancient grains offer a way to grow your own food using techniques that have been around for centuries. While modern wheat has been hybridized to produce higher yields, ancient grains are more resilient to climate changes and pests. And, with a little know-how, they can be easily grown at home. Ancient grains can be sown directly in the ground or in containers. If you're short on space, consider growing wheat, barley, or oats in a pot on your porch or balcony. With just a few basic materials - some seeds, some soil, and a source of water - you can enjoy the satisfaction of harvest-fresh grains all year long.

What are some of the most popular ancient grains to grow, and what do they taste like?

Many people are interested in growing ancient grains these days. The most popular ancient grains to grow are wheat, barley, oats, and rye. These grains have been around for centuries and are known for their nutty flavor and chewy texture. They are also high in fiber and protein, making them a healthy option for those looking to add more whole grains to their diet. In addition to being nutritious, ancient grains are also relatively easy to grow. They can be sown directly in the ground or started in pots indoors. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of these delicious and nutritious grains.


Ancient wheat has been around for centuries. It is a popular choice among health-conscious consumers due to its high fiber and protein content, as well as its nutty flavor and chewy texture. Ancient wheat can be used in breads, cereals, porridges, soups, salads and more.

Wheat Grain in a Bowl


Einkorn was a staple in the diets of early civilizations. It is high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense food. It also has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and a chewy texture. Einkorn is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, including breads, muffins, pancakes, pasta and more. It is also becoming increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers due to its nutritional profile and the fact that it is gluten free.

Einkorn Grain in Two Hands


Emmer has been around for centuries, and was an important part of the diets of early civilizations. It is high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense food. Emmer has a nutty flavor and chewy texture that make it a popular choice among health-conscious consumers. It is also becoming increasingly popular due to its gluten-free status. Emmer can be used in a variety of dishes, including breads, porridges, salads and more. 


Khorasan is an ancient grain that has been around for centuries and was a staple in the diets of many early civilizations. It is a very nutritious grain, containing high levels of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Khorasan also has a nutty flavor and chewy texture that make it popular among health-conscious consumers. It can be used in a variety of dishes such as breads, porridges, salads and more. Khorasan is relatively easy to grow in home gardens, making it an ideal choice for those looking to produce their own nutritious grains.


Was a staple food in many parts of Europe until the 19th century and still exists in some areas today. Spelt is an excellent source of both protein and fiber, making it a nutritious addition to any diet. Its nutty flavor makes it ideal for baking, soups and stews. Spelt can also be ground into flour and used in a wide variety of baked goods. It is an excellent source of whole grains, which are important for overall health, including heart health and keeping blood sugar levels stable. In addition, spelt contains several vitamins and minerals that may help boost immunity and support healthy digestion. Spelt is a versatile, nutritious and delicious grain that adds flavor and nutrition to any meal.

Spelt Grains in Scope


Has been cultivated and used for food for centuries. Cultivated in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, rye was a major grain crop for many cultures throughout history. It was typically used to make breads, cereals, and other baked goods due to its robust flavor and texture. Rye is also known for its high levels of dietary fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol and improve digestion. It is also a great source of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and more. Rye grain has become increasingly popular in recent years as it is gluten-free and can be used to make delicious breads that are a healthier alternative to wheat. Today, rye is often found in cereals, breads, baked goods, and even whiskey!

Rye Bread on a Cutting Board


Millet is an ancient grain, dating back thousands of years. It has been cultivated in Africa, Asia, and Europe for centuries as a staple food crop. Millet is a cereal grain that is gluten-free and high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It can be ground into flour or made into porridge, and also used in a variety of baked goods. Millet is highly adaptable to different climates, and has the potential to be a major source of nutrition for many people around the world. It is also an important part of traditional diets, particularly in regions where other grains are scarce. Millet provides an excellent source of dietary fiber, minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. It is also a good source of plant-based protein as well as B vitamins. Millet can be enjoyed in many different forms such as a porridge for breakfast or dinner, or used to make breads and other baked goods. With its nutrient profile, versatility, and adaptability, millet is an incredibly nutritious and sustainable food choice for people around the world.


Ancient sorghum grain has been a staple of cultures around the world for centuries. It is believed to have originated in Africa, and was cultivated as early as 4000 BC. This hardy grain has long been valued for its high nutrition content and ability to grow in arid environments where other grains cannot survive. It is also known for its sweet flavor and can be used to make beer, couscous, or even ground into flour. Sorghum is a versatile grain that has been used in many cultures for centuries as a staple food source, providing the essential carbohydrates and protein necessary for health and wellbeing. It remains an important crop today due to its numerous advantages over other grains.


Ancient Teff grain is a nutritious and ancient cereal grain that has been eaten in Ethiopia for centuries. It is an annual grass, resembling millet or wheat in appearance, with tiny seeds that are rich in nutritional value. It is high in protein, dietary fiber, calcium and iron and can be used to make breads, porridges and stews. Teff is also gluten-free, making it a great option for those following a gluten-free diet. It has a mild flavor and cooks quickly, making it an ideal choice in many recipes. Ancient Teff grains offer an excellent source of nutrition while also giving traditional African dishes an authentic taste. This ancient grain remains popular to this day and is an important part of the Ethiopian diet.


Barley has been an important grain throughout history, with records of it being cultivated as early as the Neolithic era. Ancient civilizations relied heavily on barley for food, and even used it to make alcoholic beverages. Barley is a highly nutritious whole grain that is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It also contains essential amino acids and is a source of complex carbohydrates. Today, barley is commonly used in soups, stews, breads and other dishes. It can also be enjoyed as a hot breakfast cereal or turned into flour for baking needs. This versatile grain has been providing nutrition to people around the world for centuries and continues to be an important part of many diets.


Oats have been a staple food since ancient times, with evidence of oat grain consumption dating back to around 1000 B.C. in places like Scotland and Ireland. Oats were widely consumed by the Celts and early Britons as a source of nutrition and sustenance. They were often boiled down into a porridge or fermented into beer. Throughout the following centuries, oat grains have continued to be a popular dietary staple and are now widely used in baking, as well as included in breakfast cereals. Oats contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber that may help reduce cholesterol and improve gut health. They are also naturally gluten-free and can be easily incorporated into a nutritious, balanced diet. 

Oat Grains in Wooden Scope


Corn grain consumption dates back thousands of years. It is believed that the Native Americans were the first to cultivate and consume corn in North America, with evidence of its existence dating as far back as 5,400 BCE. Corn was a staple food for many ancient cultures and tribes, providing an essential source of nutrition and sustenance. The vast majority of the population consumed corn as a major part of their diet, relying on it for energy and nourishment. In addition to being eaten boiled, steamed or roasted, ancient tribes also used corn in breads, soups, stews, and desserts. Corn played a significant role in many rituals and ceremonies throughout history and was seen as an important symbol. Today, corn remains a key element in many diets and is enjoyed around the world by people of all ages.


Rice has been an essential crop for generations, with evidence of its consumption dating back over 8,000 years in China. In ancient times, rice grain was hailed for its nutritional value and was a staple in many diets. Rice provided important sustenance to laborers who worked long hours in the fields, as well as to pilgrims who traveled long distances in search of knowledge and spiritual guidance. Today, rice is still a major part of many cultures' diets around the world, with different varieties offering a wide range of flavors and textures. Rice has evolved from its ancient beginnings to become a key component of cuisines all over the globe. It remains an integral part of human society and continues to nourish and delight billions of people every day.


Amaranth has been a staple grain for human consumption since ancient times. It was widely consumed by the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans who used it to make breads, beverages, and even religious offerings. It is believed that amaranth may have been the earliest cereal crop to be domesticated in Mesoamerica. Today, amaranth is used in a variety of modern dishes and is gaining popularity as a gluten-free alternative to traditional grains. It is also highly nutritious, containing proteins, dietary fiber, minerals and essential vitamins. Amaranth can be cooked into porridges or ground into flour for baking breads, cakes and other treats. There are also many varieties of amaranth that are used in salads and as an ingredient for stir-fries. Amaranth is a versatile, nutritious grain that has been enjoyed by people for centuries.


Ancient civilizations have been consuming quinoa grain for thousands of years. Native to the Andean region of South America, quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains and was a staple food in pre-Colombian times. It provides an excellent source of complete proteins and trace minerals; its high protein content makes it a great alternative for vegetarians. Quinoa was so important to the Incas that it was referred to as "the mother of all grains." It is still used in traditional South American dishes today and has become increasingly popular around the world. Quinoa is also very versatile, it can be used in a wide variety of recipes from salads, soups and stews, to desserts and snacks. It can also be used in baking as a gluten-free grain. Quinoa is not only nutritious but it has a delicious nutty flavor that makes it a great addition to any meal!


Buckwheat has been consumed by humans for millennia, with historical records of its use in parts of Europe and Asia dating as far back as 2500 BC. In the past, buckwheat grain was a staple food throughout much of the world, but especially popular in eastern European countries where it was used to make porridge and pancakes. Today, buckwheat is still used as a staple grain and can be found in cereal, breads, and other food products. It also has medicinal applications and is known to help reduce cholesterol levels, promote digestion, and aid in weight loss. Buckwheat is an incredibly versatile grain with a long history of providing sustenance to people all across the globe.


Chia (Salvia hispanica) is an ancient grain that has been consumed for centuries in Mexico and Central America. Native Americans were among the first to consume it, eating it as a staple of their diet. They used chia seeds to boost energy levels due to its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Chia was also used in traditional healing remedies and as a source of sustenance during long journeys. Today, chia is enjoyed around the world for its nutty flavor, versatility, and nutrient-dense content. It can be added to cereals, smoothies, salads, baked goods, and more! Its numerous health benefits make it an excellent addition to any diet.

How can you use ancient grains in your cooking, and what are some recipes to get you started?

If you're looking for something new to add to your cooking repertoire, why not try ancient grains? These nutrient-rich staple crops were once a mainstay of the human diet, and they're making a comeback in modern kitchens. Here are some ways you can use ancient grains in your cooking, along with some recipes to get you started.

One of the most versatile ancient grains is quinoa. This high-protein grain can be used in place of rice or pasta in almost any dish. Try it in a stir-fry or salad. You can also use quinoa flour to make pancakes, bread, and other baked goods.

For a heartier meal, try barley or farro. Both of these grains make great additions to soups and stews. They can also be cooked with vegetables for a simple side dish. If you're looking for something truly unique, try using barley malt syrup as a natural sweetener in baking or on top of pancakes and waffles.

If you want to add a bit of twist to your cooking, experiment with amaranth or teff. These unusual grains have a nutty flavor that pairs well with roasted vegetables, grilled meats, and even chocolate desserts. And since they're gluten-free, they're perfect for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.

No matter what type of ancient grain you choose, there's sure to be a recipe out there that's perfect for you. So why not give one (or all) of them a try? Your taste buds will thank you!

Are there any special considerations when growing and using ancient grains compared to other types of grain crops?

When it comes to grains, there are a so many options available. Ancient grains are one type of grain that is available, and these have been around for centuries. Today, ancient grains are becoming more popular as people learn about their benefits. One benefit of ancient grains is that they are more nutrient-dense than other types of grains. They also tend to be easier to digest and have more fiber. In addition, ancient grains are typically more resistant to pests and diseases. As a result, they can be a good option for those looking for a healthy and sustainable grain option. When growing and using ancient grains, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, ancient grains typically require different growing conditions than other types of grains. They also usually need to be milled or soaked before they can be used in cooking. As a result, it is important to do some research before growing or using ancient grains. 

If you're interested in incorporating nutritious and delicious ancient grains into your diet, there's no need to wait for them to show up in your local grocery store. With a little bit of effort, you can easily grow these grains at home using either a garden or container plants. There are many different types of ancient grains to choose from, so you're sure to find one (or more!) that suit your taste buds. And if you're feeling adventurous, why not try cooking with ancient grains? They can be used in all kinds of recipes, from breads and cereals to soups and stews. Just remember that when growing and using ancient grains, there are some special considerations compared to other types of grain crops. But with a little bit of knowledge, you'll be able to enjoy these healthy and delicious grains without any problems.