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July 19, 2011 / 74

Bringing In the Rye…

The flail and rye straw in the back of the pick-up

I’m about 1/3 of the way through getting the patch of rye threshed and in the tub. I took what I had done, and dragged it to the basement where the fanning mill, with all of its screens, is and spent about an hour separating the components – straw bits, empty grain heads, bits of this and bits of that, and sifted out the dust.

When it was all done, there was still a lot of little straw bits and hulls and stuff that would not screen out. The winnowing process really is necessary. So since we have a nice stiff breeze outside today, I took two tubs up stairs and out to the driveway. Then I poured from one tub into the other from about three feet up so the wind blew between the tubs and blew the chaff away while the grain went into the bottom tub. the heavier bits weren’t blowing far enough to clear the outside edge of the bottom tub, tho, so I raised the pouring tub and poured the grain closer to the down-wind edge. I stopped doing that pretty quickly because what was enough wind to get those bits out, was also strong enough to get the grain over the edge of the tub an on the ground. The yard roosters will be smiling tomorrow! So I kept pouring and pouring until the heavier bits made it over the edge of the tub, and the grain stayed in.

The REALLY COOL thing here is that I have now started with a piece of ground, a couple of pounds of seed, added a lot of work – produced food quality grain!!! This seems to me to be a lot different than producing veggies since you can plant veggies, and if some rabbit doesn’t eat them, you can just waltz out to the garden when they’re ready and pick ’em and eat ’em. Not so much with grain. As you’ve seen, there’s a lot more to it! And since we have our own grain mill, we can now take grain from seed to table! It has been a challenge tho . Since I had a pretty good idea what steps were needed, but I had no clue going in how to do those steps without the machinery used in today’s farming, I was able to innovate and figure out how to accomplish the deeds required. “Improvise, adapt, and OVERCOME!!!” OOOHRAH!  ;-D

I also spent a lot of face-time with Mr Computer reading about how it’s being done in Asia and Africa. Got some ideas, but nothing really helpful for my resources here in the USA. For example, they are now making small scale farming equipment that I could pull with a lawn mower, but you can’t get it here! And even the small scale stuff requires the products of a high tech world. My goal was to make food without the tech, (I cheated by using a rototiller – but I can and have done it without one) and most especially without the chemicals and the GM seeds. GM seeds and plants may be “Round-Up ready”, but I don’t think the human body is.

We’re having a heat wave now – so it’s really hard to get this stuff done – without sweating to death, that is. When I bought my scythe, I looked for one with an air conditioned cab and a stereo, but couldn’t find one.  🙂

I’m putting in about 5 or 6 hours a day on it. I start when it’s cool in the morning (about 85 this AM) and go like crazy, then find myself sloooowing down as noon approaches. So I go eat lunch,  and then find something I can do inside in the A/C, or take a siesta! And things keep coming up to get in the way… Life just keep HAPPENING!  ;-D


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