Cleaning Wheat (Tim Peters) Jan 30, 2009 13:48:35 GMT -5
Post by Alan on Jan 30, 2009 13:48:35 GMT -5
Writen by Tim Peters
Here are my suggestions for those of you who are growing grain but have no combine or small thresher per se.
For a thresher you can use/do the following with good relative efficiency.
1. several large tarps. (i use the cheap plastic ones).
2. A large box fan. 3. A Leaf rake. 4. A 2x2 up to 3x3 square of hardware cloth (screen) of the right size, mounted on a wood frame, to let the seed thru quickly but keep back most/all the bigger untreshed head/pieces.
5. A good wheelbarrow. 6. Some 5 gal. buckets. 7. A rubber tired vehicle, like a car or truck. 8. A slab of cement, like a driveway or garage floor.
Harvest by hand, using your arm to bunch and one hand to grasp the head bunch (don't gather all that stalk material), and the other hand holding the rose/hand pruner/clipper to massively cut off the heads (below the hand that is grasping them just below the head).
Then drop them into your 35 gal plastic garbage can which you are dragging long, ...and repeat.
Dump heads on a tarp that is placed on the slab of cement (or very smooth ground). Perhaps put another tarp over the top. Drive your vehicle wheel over the pile, back and forth across the pile. Pull off tarp. Rake off onto top tarp the untreshed heads. Lift tarp sides to pile remaining, pour into bucket, set box fan on wheelbarrow handles, turn on high, stand on side and pour grain threshings into barrow in front of fan (on the barrow angled front side to create a deflected non damaging fall for seed), repeat, use a dustpan and dust broom to get back into bucket. put sceen over barrow, pour on as much seed as is sane, move the screen side to side vigourously across the top of barrow, throw residue back onto tarp for further thresh... repeat until satisfied with seed cleaning. Use a cookie sheet and tweezers to remove anything else from the batch, later.
There are some old fashioned leaf shredders that can be made to run at low speeds and blades can be rubbered, i have one... exceeding useful and very quickly cleaned between varieties... I will get you all pictures I hope in the next couple of months, if I can get back across the country to where they are. ....this is used on the tarp with cloth drappery at base to keep it from spitting the seeds across the countryside... rest of procedure is as above... very quick once you get the hang of it. TAKE GREAT CARE TO KEEP SEEDS OF ONE VARIETY FROM HAVING ANOTHER VARIETY FLY INTO THEM... THIS IS EASIER BY FAR THAN TRYING TO CLEAN UP A VARIETY LATER, BELIEVE ME.
HAND THRESH METHOD
you can use a rough block of wood and a rubber mat to rub loose the seed of single head selections.
...hope these methods I developed help you
Tim Peters, seed and research