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Growing grain—harvesting, threshing, winnowing, and storing
Sep 13, 2011 - Charlotte from Peaceful Valley
If you grow vegetables, you can also grow grain in your home garden.
You don’t need to have acreage as far as the eye can see. Our video on planting grain shows you how to prepare the soil and plant cereal grain seeds in a small area. Tricia demos how to harvest the grain in our latest video.
The color of the grain gradually changes from green to golden brown. Grain ripens in three stages and you can monitor this by checking a piece of grain.
1) Milky: press on a grain and see milky liquid ooze out.
Harvest a plot in the way that is easiest for you. Use your hands to snap off the seed heads, or cut the seed heads off with pruners, a sickle, or a scythe.
Dry the heads or sheaves in your wheat plot for 7 to 10 days before threshing.
Time to define some vocabulary you may not know, unless you grew up on a wheat farm.
Chaff: The seed heads and straw from the plant.
Rubbing with your hands.
After threshing you will winnow:
Winnow by pouring from one container to another, in front of a fan for best results.
Keep your grain fresh when you store it below 60F, free from oxygen, moisture, and pests. You can do this by bagging and freezing it, or putting it in food-safe, airtight buckets along with oxygen-absorber packets. Utah State Cooperative Extension has details on how to store wheat at home.
Need more information?
Sara Pitzer is your new pal. She wrote Homegrown Whole Grains: Grow, Harvest & Cook Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rice, Corn & More. As Tricia says in our video, “do yourself a favor” and get this book to help you grow your own grain.
Review the harvesting steps with Tricia as she harvests, threshes and winnows in our latest video.
Categories: Organic Seeds, Organic Cereal Seed, Cover Crop, Cereal Seeds, Pruning & Cutting Tools, Hand Sickle, Scythe, Homesteading Books, Food Processing & Preservation, Food Mills & Crushers
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