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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Harvesting Buckwheat after bees are done with it?

    Hello

    After the bees are done with Buckwheat what is the best way to harvest it? I planted about 1/4 acre of Buckwheat for my bees and now the season is coming to a close and the Buckwheat is about spent. What is the best way to harvest this grain? I have NO farm equipment...did all plantings by hand using a hoe. Some of the grain will be used to plant again next year while the rest I will grind, by hand, for my homemade, organic sourdough breads.

    thx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,364

    Default

    With no equipment, just hand cut the heads into a paper bag. Beat the bag to release the grain, then remove the twigs that are left (or not if you're lazy like me). The normal way would be a combine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,709

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGreenThumb View Post
    Hello

    I planted about 1/4 acre of Buckwheat for my bees and now the season is coming to a close and the Buckwheat is about spent. What is the best way to harvest this grain? I have NO farm equipment...did all plantings by hand using a hoe.
    thx
    Sell me some seeds... All by hand... wow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Newport, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    241

    Default

    I've harvasted grain by hand.
    When the grain is ripe, cut the plants and gather them. spread out a big blue tarp on the ground. Grab a handfull of stems and beat the seedheads on the tarp. It also helps if it is a windy day. You can toss handfuls of the grain in the air and let the wind blow away the fine debris and chaff.

    -BoB

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Red Bluff, Ca
    Posts
    301

    Default

    Make a flail like they used 150 years ago. Long piece of wood, short piece of wood tied together with rawhide. Beat the ---- out of it when it is on the tarp.
    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Default What BoB said

    tossing the grain in the air in the wind. . .it's called "winnowing" and it works very well. If you don't have any wind, you can use a fan.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    I bet a lawn mower with a bagger would work pretty well, damage some seeds but cut way down on the time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default now to harvest organic buckwheat

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGreenThumb View Post
    Hello

    After the bees are done with Buckwheat what is the best way to harvest it? I planted...Buckwheat for my bees...What is the best way to harvest this grain? I have NO farm equipment...I will grind, by hand, for my homemade, organic sourdough breads.thx
    HOW TO HARVEST ORGANIC BUCKWHEAT

    Always remember, that once a standing grain crop dries in the field it becomes almost impossible to harvest by hand because the seed heads shatter too easily. Using a hand sickle cut the still greenish buckwheat stalks close to the ground and gather the grain stalks into sheaves also known as shocks. A sheave is the grains’ bundled seed heads with the stalks still attached. A sheave is about as large as you can reach around comfortably with one hand. Bind the sheaves in the middle with cord or green buckwheat stalks and stand them on end, in groups, in the field until you have gathered the whole field. Load sheaves of ripe grain into your ox cart or onto a travois. Transport your buckwheat to the threshing floor, usually a round stone or brick surfaced area about 15 feet in diameter. Allow the grain to ripen or dry here in its sheaves. If rain threatens move sheaves into the dry.

    Erect a tall pole in the middle of threshing floor to tether your ox to and spread sheaves of buckwheat onto the threshing floor. Tether your ox to the pole and using a goad, force ox to walk in tight circles around and around the pole, if you do not possess an ox goad you may employ your pitchfork in place of an ox goad. By adjusting the length of the ox’s tether, you can control the path the ox treads through the grain. Stand by with before mentioned pitchfork and stoop down repeatedly to pitch the stalks and seed heads into the air and under the ox’s hooves. If your ox defecates, or urinates, on the grain do not worry, its organic right?

    When the grain is well removed from the seed heads, husks or shells, clean the threshing floor in preparation for the next step, retaining the buckwheat straw as winter forage for your ox or as next years roofing material for your house. Remember, in an emergency, you can substitute a water buffalo for the ox. In fact, a water buffalo is required equipment if one intends to produce organic rice as well, so if you wish to grow both crops, now would be a good time to trade your rusty old ox in on a shiny new water buffalo!

    Bag grain and chaff and wait until a sunny, windy day. Be careful that the grain is not so moist that it will mold in the meantime, or you will be making a psychedelic side trip with your pancakes. However, if you are a 21 first century disciple of the 19th. Century health food guru, The Reverend Sylvester Graham your can dispense with the following step and just pulverize your buckwheat into one congruous mass now. (The Graham Flour that the good Reverend touted cannot be sold today because of FDA contamination and adulteration issues.) (Oh, other caveats of being a Grahamite, no sex, no bacon, no salt or other spices, no soft mattresses, no tobacco or other smokeables, and for goodness sakes no honey, but I digress.)

    Spread the buckwheat out on the threshing floor and repeatedly stoop and scoop up your buckwheat in a coarsely woven, shallow, flat basket, and vigorously shake the basket back and forth to sift as much of the grain from the chaff as will easily fall through the cracks in the basket. Pitch the remaining grain straight up into the air about 8 feet high to allow the wind to blow the lighter chaff from the heaver seeds. Do not stand facing into the wind, always stand up wind during this operation, and stand at the up wind edge of the threshing floor to minimize waste.

    Oh, remember, buckwheat is not wheat. Buckwheat dough will not rise with a sour dough starter because it has no gluten. I guess you could mix three parts Pillsbury white wheat flour to one or two parts buckwheat flour and bake bread with the dough or you can do what everyone else did with buckwheat and fry pancakes, but remember now, no syrup or honey!

    ENJOY, AND GOOD LUCK

    http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/electroni.../10/graham.htm

    http://books.google.com/books?id=8po...um=5&ct=result
    (Get the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, Graham style here)

    http://www.adherents.com/people/pk/J...y_Kellogg.html

    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&...esult#PPR16,M1
    A link to (Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s book
    (PLAIN FACTS FOR THE OLD AND YOUNG)
    Or how to avoid self-pollination…uh, I mean self-pollution.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGreenThumb View Post

    After the bees are done with Buckwheat what is the best way to harvest it? I planted about 1/4 acre of Buckwheat for my bees
    How much honey can you get from 1/4 acre of buckwheat?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default

    Enough to get a good taste some years, enough to smell the flowers other years, and enough to fill buckets other years
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default

    Id just moe the crop down,
    Looking at a quarter acre, probably yeilding 25 bushels and acre on a good year, thats about 5 or so bushels, and thats through a combine.

    Is a couple of bushels worth the effort? At what 10$.bushel last spring ( maybe 15$ becasue of its shortage) your not looking at anymore than 100$
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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