Our new lifestyle, location, and DIY projects also required the acquisition of a few new tools:
Numerous pairs of work gloves
Loader, boom, chain harrow, and disk for tractor
T-post driver and puller
Floor scraper (ultimate tool for removing staples in carpet pad)
Paper log maker
“No Hunting” signs
The last six months have flown by, and we’re starting to get into a groove. If the weather is good, we will work on an outside project. Not so good, then we’ll do an inside project. We’ve also taken the time to explore our new surroundings with a few hikes and camping trips. We’ve taken up flyfishing (that’s a whole new list of equipment for another post), and visited many of our local breweries, restaurants and farmers’ markets. Life is good.
We are surrounded by wheat fields, so we know wheat grows well in our area. In early spring, Shawn planted a pound of wheat seeds in a row in our garden. For the longest time, it was the only crop in the garden that seemed to be growing.
By midsummer, the wheat was over two feet tall while the tomatoes and peppers were still taking their time to get their groove on.
This wheat thing is new to us, so once the wheat turned brown and the farmers around us began cutting their wheat and hay, Shawn knew it was time to harvest. He cut all the wheat by hand and hung it in the garage to finish drying.
Shawn did some internet research and learned how to build a DIY thresher. It is pieces of chain attached to a rod in a bucket. He uses his drill to turn the rod, and the chain beats all heck out of the wheat to separate the chaff from the wheat.
We cut the wheat heads off the stalks by hand. I’m thinking the Amish are more automated than we were. It took a few hours for both of us to remove all the seed heads. The chickens were happy with any we missed.
The final step was pouring the threshed wheat in front of a fan to separate the seeds from the chaff. The heavier wheat falls into the bucket and the chaff blows away. Shawn did this process a few times. The resulting product was over six pounds of wheat ready for milling into flour.
Shawn plans to plant an acre of wheat for next season, so we will need to work on our automation techniques!