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Re: mulch / grain seed saving

  • Subject: Re: [cg] mulch / grain seed saving
  • From: Don Lambert grower@flash.net
  • Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2002 22:44:58 -0600

Nicole
For small amounts of wheat and rye the mature (dry on the stalk) seed heads can be pulled off by hand, or clipped with a hand clipper. A five gallon bucket or two full of heads is about my limit before this turns into real work.  Gloves will help protect your hands.

Spread seed heads out on a canvas to dry well in the sun.  

Next you thrash the seed out by using your feet (wear rubber soled tennis shoes) or beating with a broom handle, or rubbing between gloved hands.  For the foot method, pile about a 2 quart portion in the middle of a tarp and then use your feet to step, fold, role, and kneed the pile.  It is easy and very efficient with a little practice.  For the beating method beat piles of about 5 gal portions.  You may be able to just pick up handfulls and rub then between you hands.  You do everything of course on top of a large sheet of plastic, canvas or tarp, so it is easy to avoid spills.

The last step is winnowing.  Pour portions very slowly between containers letting the wind, or an electric fan (total hand method=have a friend wave a large board or cookie sheet to create wind as you pour) blow away the chaff.

Dry real good one more time before storing in a sealed container.  It is best to add a little DE (diatomaceous earth), about 1 tsp. per gallon of grain to take care of weevils and other insects that invariably lay their eggs on the seed heads and hatch out during storage.  

Good luck.
Don Lambert
Gardeners in Community Development

Nicole Georges-Abeyie wrote:
F1380Gxw8Zw5V6QcqnW000000fc@hotmail.com">

Thanks, Paco John Verin and others, for your replies. How does a grower with only hand tools reasonably-efficiently save seed from a cereal grain crop?

>In simple terms, sow winter covers of wheat or rye now, leaving some of =
>it to reach maturity in the bed. Save the seed for fall replanting, and =
>compost the stalks and roots.



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