During the height of the rainy season the river is so fierce it destroys all plant life on the sandy banks. The end of the rainy season leaves the river banks bare, stripped of vegetation. After the rains stop then whatever seeds were dispersed begin to germinate. This year I looked more carefully at the different types of grasses that were growing. One in particular stood out as being different. At first I thought it was the gigantic grass that grows on our property, but after inspecting more carefully I saw it was something different.
The plant starts out innocently enough like a clump of thick grass. Once the rains begin the plant grows rapidly to about nine feet tall. The stocks are thick and sturdy. The plant eventually flowers and produces hard seeds. I was fortunate enough to have a new plant book handed to me and found out that these are Job's Tears. The seeds are used to make jewelry and I found out that chickens can eat the grain that is inside the tough shell.
I have been thinking a lot about what I will feed my future chickens and wonder if they will like these. The seeds are maturing on the plants now. So far this rainy season we haven't had one of those rains that decimate plant life on the banks of the river. I will collect as many seeds as I can until the inevitable happens. Next I will need to see if my manual grinder will be able to break the seeds open so my future chickens can eat them. If I am successful at getting the shell off and the chickens like them I will be sure to harvest as many as possible each year.