Thursday, 21 August 2014

In the Jungle (A winnow way)

Having sourced, transported & grown my first crop of wheat for an educational project this year, the time has come to separate the wheat from the chaff, literally. A frustrating couple of hours sat in front of the TV and hand-picking out the tiny kernels from two out of the twenty seven cultivars led to an alternative route. A shout out to a Facebook page dedicated to growing veg and allotments led to a top tip for a quick DIY winnower. Social media is just brilliant for a range of good, bad & ugly advice for gardeners. After separating the individual kernels, I poured them from jug to jug in front of a circular fan. The trick seems to be to pour the grains slowly, starting above the fan, so the chaff lifts over the jug. Different cultivars responded better than others, with modern wheat strains separating easily from the chaff. The ancient grains have been far less successful, so an alternative strategy may have to be devised. Perhaps spinning them first in a food processor without blades?

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