Threshing Wheat

Does anyone this day and age spend their Sunday afternoon threshing wheat? Probably not.

Last Sunday at Five Feline Farm, we did. At least we made a good start.

This wasn’t a massive operation. More of an experiment. What if we could grow and harvest enough wheat to make a loaf of bread? What would that taste like?

The process started last fall with planting hard red winter wheat. Stalks were harvested two weeks ago and dried in the greenhouse. Conditions are perfect inside the greenhouse during the summer for drying things. It is well over the outside temperature and protected from the elements.

Next the heads of grain were removed from the stalk and gathered in a large bucket. Now, how to get the grain out? First try was rubbing the heads between our palms. That worked, but too slow. Plus after a short time, it was irritating to the palms. Next attempt was placing a few handfuls into an old pillow case and beating it with a coat hanger. That also worked. A bit faster than by hand, but still too slow.

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The final effort was placing all of the heads of grain in a bucket and stirring rapidly with a wooden rod. Success. In a relatively short amount of time, most of the wheat kernels were free from the heads.

The job is not finished. The next step is to set up a fan and pour the grain from one container to another while the fan blows out the chaff. A good windy day is useful for this purpose as well.

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Hopefully the end result will be enough wheat to grind into flour for bread. How could this not be delicious and oh so healthy?

More to come on the grinding and baking.

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