With the end of August approaching (yes, really), our volunteer growers have been noticing a change in their wheat: where green, grass-like plants stood swaying in yards, golden stalks with full seed heads are now suggesting a readiness to be reaped. In light of this change our resident wheat expert, Chris Hergesheimer, has suggested that we bite into a wheat kernel (known as the “bite test”) – if ready for harvesting, the kernel should neither be soft nor green.
To provide a better explanation of wheat harvesting, however, Chris and the EYA will be hosting a harvesting demonstration at the Cedar Cottage Community Garden this Friday, August 26th from 6-8pm. The garden is located at Hull Street and Victoria Drive in East Vancouver. All are welcome to attend!
To get you inspired for this demo, we highly recommend Andrea Bellamy’s blog entry on the micro-wheat field at Cedar Cottage.
Wheat doesn’t get any more beautiful than that, friends.
On that note, Lawns to Loaves is looking for participants for an autumn continuation of the project! We’ll be posting more details as soon as we have them sorted. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us at lawnstoloaves[at]gmail.com
Hello fellow wheat-growing enthusiasts!
To those of you who attended our May 1st workshop at Strathcona Community Garden – thank you! You were a fantastic and enthusiastic bunch and we can’t wait for the growing season to begin in full force. It’s been raining like mad the last few days, but don’t worry – your wheat seeds should be able to tolerate it.
To those of you who couldn’t attend our May 1st workshop – we missed you, but are pleased to have you on board! Remember to get in touch with us by this Monday (May 9th) so that we can get those seeds out you ASAP in time for planting before May 15th. Contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org
And, to those of you who are wondering what this wonderful and weird project is all about, do check out our About tab.
Photos from the May 1st Workshop:
Now on to the nitty-gritty:
Here’s a very good resource covering everything from irrigation to threshing: Small Scale Grain Production
An excerpt on harvesting: “Once the stalks, leaves and heads have become a golden brown, begin checking the hardness of the kernels. To do this, take a head of wheat and rub it between your hands to break the kernels loose from the chaff and gently blow the chaff away. Pop the kernels in your mouth and bite the kernels. They should be fairly hard and have a bit of a crunch. If they are soft or squishy, then the kernels are still in the dough stage and need a few more days to dry.”
A short video with Chris Hergesheimer, the Flour Peddler, demonstrating how to sow wheat seed to help ensure a healthy harvest. Please excuse the shakiness in the first few seconds.
Chris demonstrating wheat seed sowing from Environmental Youth Alliance on Vimeo.
Now get those seeds in the ground! 🙂