Notes from Windward: #70

Harvesting the Triticale


Andrew, July 29:

     As the summer heat began to ramp up in July, the test patches of triticale and wheat that Lindsay planted in the fall of 2009 started maturing and drying off. Harvesting the grains was a practice in connecting with an age old tradition.

a sharp scythe makes easy work
harvesting the grain


     Oana and I broke out the Scythe and went to work cutting down the stocks, collecting them into bundles, and laying them out to finish drying.

the grain fell with a musical rhythm


     The process was short because our patch was small. But it was enjoyable while it lasted. After we were done scything we collected the stocks into bundles and laid them out to dry.

Oana going at it


     A few day later we started separating the seed heads from the stocks. We sorted through the seed heads, selecting out the most productive plants with the biggest berries. These will be kept for seed. The rest will be available for others to use to make flour and breads.

sorting out the grain for seed stock


     For me, the whole process was a look into the past. Each seed represents hundreds of human generations of selection and work. The whole process being repeated year after year for thousands of years. The motion of my body with the scythe seems somehow familiar and right. I look forward to doing it again in another year.

a look at the product of our labors
big beautiful wheat and triticale berries


Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 70