Peggy is growing on well drained land on long beds that are kept sufficiently wet. This clearly facilitates harvest.
Raising cattails as a row crop may turn out very well and provide a good framework for efficient harvest.
It is also noted that thin slicing of the tubers permits proper drying and long term storage. This will also allow recovery of starch by grinding and winnowing out the fiber. It turns out to be much like taro root – no surprise there. Obviously this is important if large quantities are to someday be used.
I would still like to see tools prepared to support a paddy based growing culture. Hand work is way too difficult for cattail culture to date and various forms of lifting and cutting tools are already part of the farm machinery business.
The row system pioneered by Peggy takes advantage of present hardware suited for dry environments.
Increasing Green Growth: Human Ecology, an Interdisciplinary Journal:(2009):
But Why? What we want at this point is rhizome development to convert the rich polysaccharides into alcohol. During our evaluation study this summer we have witnessed the BEST rhizome development in the emerging plant and the BEST ratio of rhizome to stalk at about 4 months in estimated growth analysis of wild stands of cattail. Next spring we will be experimenting with the absorbent natural nature of the mulched green biomass. The object is to plant the cattail in soil that rapidly allows the moisture to reach the rhizome and then to spread the water (or retain it) at this level (between eight and eighteen inches. Moisture that seeps lower will encourage a strong ‘tap’ root that makes harvesting difficult.
You may reach Peggy here:
Water Assurance Technology Energy Resources
40 Sun Valley Dr., Spring Branch TX 78070
FAX (830) 885-4827; Cell: (512) 757-4499