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New England farmer experiments with cold-hardy rice in effort to turn wet land into asset
FERRISBURGH, Vt. (AP) ' Most rice in the U.S. is grown in the South, but several Vermont farmers are experimenting with cold-hardy varieties in what could be a model for other small farms in his region.
Erik Andrus says he tried for several years to grow grains on his farm in Ferrisburgh, Vt., but the land was too damp for him to have much success. Then, in February, he took a workshop on growing rice offered by a couple who had been testing growing it in colder climates. This spring, he dug out two rice paddies and put in 50,000 seedlings.
The rice Andrus is growing is a cold-hardy, short-grain type similar to Japanese rice. He's hoping to get 4,000 pounds that he'll sell to a local health food store and at farmers' markets.