Friday, July 8, 2011

My tribute to the 4th of July: Amber waves of grain!

Well,  in the last few weeks my wheat made the magical change from pale green to lovely amber... or at least pale yellow.

This little guy is still working on shedding that green color.
You can do it!

As beautiful as it looks, it's still not ready to harvest. I found a website that does a good job of describing when to harvest:

"As you admire your wheat stand, you’ll notice in midsummer that the color of the stalks turns from green to yellow or brown. The heads, heavy with grain, tip toward the earth. This means it’s time to test the grain. Choose a head, pick out a few grains, and pop them into your mouth. If they are soft and doughy, the grain is not yet ready. Keep testing. One day the grains will be firm and crunchy, and it will be time to harvest."

I "tested" a grain today, and it was soft and doughy.  Once it's finally ready I'll have these steps left: harvesting, binding, curing, threshing, and winnowing.  The only one that intimidates me is threshing.  I've read some suggestions as to how to do this on a small scale.  One suggestion I like is to stick the sheaves in a pillowcase and bash the heads against a brick wall.  The grains are supposed to fall out of the heads and then they're ready for winnowing.  I'll be taking photos of all of these steps as I do them...  I just sure hope those grains come out.

So my little wheat plot went from its humble beginnings last fall:

To today in early July:

I don't know about you, but I find that just amazing.  Mostly because I didn't expect it to work so well.  But everything has been going well so far, let's hope that it stays that way!


Kylen and Adrienne said...

Wow, way to go Bre! That's so awesome.

Sharon said...

Gorgeous! I'd love to grind the wheat for you if I lived there. Just one question: aren't you a celiac sister?!

Breanne said...

Sharon: no, I'm not celiac. The girls like to say that "all of us" have celiac, but if I have it it's dormant right now because I don't have any problems eating wheat. I got a wheat grinder last year for my birthday from my in-laws so I should be okay on the grinding front. =)

Hugs from mom said...

I think that's pretty cool Bre. I'm curious to see how much bread you can make with that wheat.