Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Little Red Hen: Part 1

It is that time of year. Time to pull down a couple big harvests here on the homestead. Saturday we began the long process of hand threshing our Wheat crop. We were thankfully hosting my brother and sister in law. No one gets to sit idle while "vacationing" on the farm. And really, no one wants to. Aren't we lucky!

We grew a small crop this year, about 40' x 100' area of Barrie Organic Winter Wheat. The Wheat was planted last year in October. It grew just a few inches tall before being stunted by the hard frost here in November. The goal is to get it to a 4 leaf stage called vernalization before it sleeps for the winter under a heavy blanket of snow. In the Spring, at first melting, it takes off growing again. Hopefully charging ahead of the weeds and choking them out. We had good luck this year. We harvested with a borrowed sickle bar mower which was pretty slick. We are too small for a combine for sure but a machete was slow work. Thank you modern machinery! And thank you Eliot!

We then let the wheat sheaves dry in the barn for a couple weeks. That brought us to this weekend.

Hand threshing and winnowing involves this:

a sheave of wheat

and this:

nice brother-in-law using ergo-corrrect threshing technique

and this:

winnowing with nice fan from the the dump

and finally you get....

Voila! Wheat berries.

To be continued...

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Thanks for visiting with us girls...put your feet up and stay for a while.