July 1, 2021

Seasonal Chores: Wheat Processing

Last month, I showed you our winter wheat, ready to harvest. Shortly after that, Dan scythed it and we've been working on threshing since.

It seems like every year we try a new method. This year, we've each settled on a different method that suits us. Dan likes rubbing the wheat heads on the washboard.


I like gently pounding them with the rubber mallet.

Since we only have one washboard and one rubber mallet, this has worked out quite well! We've got a nice breezy spot in the shade to work, and the time passes pleasantly and productively.

Once we're done threshing, we'll winnow, and then I'll bake a loaf of fresh bread. 😋

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Nancy, maybe it's just me, but I think homemade bread from homegrown wheat is the best in the world!

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  2. A washboard. That is brilliant. I had never thought of using one like that before.

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    1. I wouldn't have either! And I think his washboard method is quicker than my mallet method.

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  3. Love that you each found your groove in the task. Look forward to seeing the rest of the process!

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    1. Daisy, at first I lamented that we had such a small patch of wheat, but now that we're threshing, it seems like a lot!

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  4. I am definitely spoiled with the fact that my parents owned a combine so all I had to do was dip a bucket into the wagon for my wheat seeds.

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    1. Ed, that would definitely make things easier! There isn't much available for the small amounts we work with, however. Still, the right equipment makes everything easier.

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  5. That is outstanding! I am so happy for you, to have some home grown wheat. I just bet that bread will taste fabulous! Great post!

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  6. The last time I tried to hand thresh some wheat, I used a gunny sack. If I'm remembering it right, I stripped the heads into the gunny sack, then "slapped" the bag on the ground while sitting in a chair, turning the bag back and forth after each slap.

    After a long enough period of slaps, I'd pour any grain out of the bag into a bucket, pick any chaff or straw off of the top, rub any ubthreshed heads between my hands, and then winnow it.

    It wasn't the easiest or quickest way to get clean grain, but it seemed to work as easy as any other way of hand threshing.

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    1. Rich, I don't think very many methods are quick and easy without machinery! It's interesting to hear how people approach wheat threshing. Do you think you'd do the same method next time?

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    2. I'm not sure how I'd go about threshing a small plot of wheat if I ever did it again. Since I started farming, I harvest any wheat I plant with either a combine, a baler, or cattle.

      There's a blog about growing small plots of older varieties of wheat that might have some ideas about small-scale harvesting grains at: https://anarchyacres.blogspot.com/

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    3. Rich, thank you for the link! Looks like my kind of blog. Besides the wheat we're threshing here, I have a small seed patch of a heritage wheat called Hourani. I'm planning to eventually just grow it, once I grow enough seed.

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  7. The perfect couple!!! :))) I still think it's so neat that you grow your own wheat.

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    1. Aw, thank you Rain! Maybe someday you'll be trying your hand at growing some too. :)

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  8. That bread will be amazing. I got some fresh ground whole wheat flour once, from an old water-powered flour mill with big grinding stones. It was the most delicious bread I'd ever made. The dough was so alive and so responsive.

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    1. Rosalea, you wouldn't think the freshness of the flour would make such a difference in the bread, but it truly does!

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  9. Love it! Out of curiosity, about how long did this take y’all? I’m always looking for good info on the process time for average folk doing it by hand. Thanks!

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    1. Chelsea, at our pace, it takes several weeks, depending on the amount we plant and harvest. We try to think in terms of seasonal chores, so we pretty much consider June to be wheat month. Rain adjusted the schedule for us, so we're finishing up about now.

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