end the wheat by weeding as necessary. In a garden patch it is possible to keep the soil beneath the wheat moist during dry spells. Wheat, like most grasses, likes moderate dampness, but does not like to be submerged in water. Raised beds are an excellent way to ensure that excess moisture runs off.
Harvesting Your Back Yard Wheat
Wheat harvest usually occurs in June when the wheat begins to turn a golden color but still has a few streaks of green. Using a scythe or some other sharp blade, mow down the stalks then tie them into bundles, standing them upright in the garden patch. Then allow the grain to fully ripen into a golden color.
Twine could be used to tie the bundles, but the traditional method is to take about an inch thick bunch of stems. Tie the lower end, binding the stalks together. Then wrap them around the bundle tying the head and foot of the stalks at about the middle of the bundle, creating a shock.
Keep the heads dry, then thresh and winnow at your leisure. The simplest form of threshing involves grasping a quantity of ripe wheat in one hand and beating it around the inside of a barrel. The grain falls off the stalks and the stalks are discarded or composted.
Winnowing is the process of separating the wheat from the chaff and small bits of straw. Since time immemorial this has been done by pouring the wheat from one container to another in a stiff breeze. The breeze blows away the chaff and the resulting wheat is as pure a product as you may easily produce. Absent a stiff breeze, a fan may be used.
Your wheat is now ready for storage. Wheat may be stored in barrels, bags or what-have-you. The basic requirements are that the space be cool, dry and pest-free (think rodent and bug).
Next Page: How to Mill Wheat Into Flour
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