The Rice Men Cometh - Heirloom Rice Returns to North Carolina

The Rice Men Cometh

The Rice Men, Al Spruill and Tommy Wheeler, like to say they have the "Best Rice Farm in North Carolina", then with an honest grin, admit that "it's the only rice farm in North Carolina."  “We don’t grow it because it’s easy. We grow it because we believe you deserve it. It’s too good not to share”

Rice Returns

Rice farming returns to NC after 120 years. Now the heirloom Carolina Gold Rice is grown in Pamlico County and sold just a few miles away at the Nautical Wheelers store in Oriental, NC. Rice grew in the Tidewater lowlands of the Carolinas up to Norfolk from the late 1600s to the early 1900s when hurricanes and the beginning of widespread commodity farming ended rice farming on the east coast.

Buy Some Rice ...

Early in September, Bill from Nautical Wheelers took a field trip to the Rice Farm. Al even let Bill ride on the combine and of course, Bill took a video.  

 Looking out over the Carolina Gold Rice fields in Pamlico County, NC


This is a sample of what the rice looks like just 2 hours after it was in the field. We have samples for you to look at Nautical Wheelers in both New Bern and Oriental, NC.

Al and Tommy get down in the dirt. This swath was just test cut. They are checking to see if the grains of rice were harvested and in the combine or still on the stalks that were cut, thrashed and sprayed out the back and into the field. Look beyond this test cut and you can see the waves of amber rice grain. 


There was a lot of farming discussion and explaining about moisture content, levies, flooding the fields and even about a second cutting of the rice. Did you know that the rice will continue to grow and set grains again after the tops of the plants are harvested? 


1 comment

  • Billy Maxwell

    Family has had four rice fields from early 1700’s outside Pink Hill, NC. Trying to think inside and outside the box to cope with my King George I’s exile lands. I have about 4-5 crop acres. I live in Montana, but looking under every rock for options done in the past and not done yet. Thank you! Worked out of Blunt’s Creek for decades.

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