The Chit #02: Harvesting

Step 3 in Processing Grain to Beer

Written by Christopher on August 4, 2017

Unlike an apple or tomato, harvesting grain doesn’t just entail picking the seed from the plant. Equipment is necessary to efficiently take thousands of tiny seeds out of a field. Here are 3 methods for harvesting we’ve been using, from most efficient to slowest:

image of combine harvesting grain

Last year our farmer friend Dave drove his John Deere 7720 through our field, swiftly depositing 3 acres of barley into our gravity wagon storage container.

image of combine harvesting grain

Don’t have a combine, or aren’t at a large enough scale? We feel you. Scything is the most efficient human-powered harvesting method. It’s an impressive skill, but it takes time to learn the art.

The Scythe Book is a good place to start learning. Here are some images from the book of the cutting method, and how a team mows down a larger field together.

visual of old scything methods

At an even smaller scale? Say hello to the knife, or sickle if you have one. Enjoy the backbend!

image of combine harvesting grain

We’re almost done harvesting our 60 plots of heritage varieties. We’re dreaming about how to graduate to better equipment next year..