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Progression of grain harvest: wheat & barley

Scott H.

Oldest entries at the bottom, latest harvest at the top.

These weeks I'm CUTTING and hanging to cure.   Next will be threshing, cleaning and resetting the inventory to allow for sales.


July 18

 Dango Mugi (B28)

Himalayan (B24)

Naked Food Barley 111-621 (B19)

a few more bundles of Sardinian barley (B27)


July 17

Blue Emmer

Black Emmer

White Emmer

Working away on the 'eat' plot of Banatka and wishing I had built a cradle for my scythe... next season.  This is the ripest I've allowed wheat to get before cutting.  It's beautiful.


July 16

Finished the Fulcaster (W59)

Finished the Red May (W60)

Started the Swan Oats (O04)

 NFB 113-834 Barley (B23)

Started the Nusso Oats (O07)

All of the Austrialian Bald barley (B16)

Finished the Karan 16 Barley (B03) 



July 15

Unterengadin Winter Wheat (W52)

Rouge de Bordeaux Winter Wheat (W48)

Winter Dinkel (W46)

Maris Wigeon Winter Wheat (W54)

Vermont Read 1898 Winter Wheat (W49)

Red May Winter Wheat (W60)

Fulcaster Winter Wheat (W59)


July 14

I was admiring the Sardinian barley today. I could have made some selective cutting of what is ripe, but, I'll wait a few more days to see if I can do a 'clear cut'.  Some of the heads are ready:

But overall, the plot needs just a bit more time. From last year, I know that they don't shatter as easily as the Bere.  As they ripen, the heads will droop, and, then, hang straight down.   I'd like to cut before they spend more than a day or two 'hanging straight down.

Phoenix winter wheat (W53)

This Einkorn (W41 AS) was planted last Fall with seeds from Oregon.  This is the beginning of my "Survived the Michigan Winter" line.  I'm pleased with the results this cycle.  From this year's harvest, I will select for large heads with strong stems.  

 Fall planted Einkorn

Sadly, only 20% of this Fall planted, Pacific NW sourced Emmer (W42AS) survived.  I'm looking forward to see if these 'survivors' do better this winter.

Fulcaster winter wheat (W59)

Michigan Amber winter wheat (W47)

Finished cutting the first plot  of Sangaste Rye.

Finishing cutting the Karan 163 spring planted barley (B02)


July 13

Emmer (W42)

White Not Awned (W35-Wh-NA)


July 12

Ukrainka Wheat (W40)

Sirvinta (W51)

Cutting and documenting is going faster than I have time for photo blogging.... in the next few days, rain is possible.  That will give me some catch up time.


July 11

More Michigan Tall North (W36) taken from a plot East of our fruit trees.  This area gets shade in the morning. 

Red Clawson (W39)


July 10

The Bere barley that I can begun to cut yesterday was finished today.  Wow, did that ripen fast.

Began to cut the Karan 16 Barley (B03).

Began to cut Karan 163 Barley (B02)

 Cut the most ripe Robust barley (B01)

At last the Banatka winter wheat which is white and has amazing awns, as well as a plot I called "Red Awned Banatka"  I've learned that Banatka should be just white and awned, so, this find strain was contamination in my original seeds.  I like it, just need a name.

 A plot of Michigan Tall South (W37) growing west of the fruit trees.  This strip gets full sun.



July 9

Michigan Tall North, W36, Awnless

Red Fife, seeds pulled from commercial wheat berries for flour

 I've begun to cut the Bere Barley (B08) planted this Spring.  It lodged more than I'd like to see, hopefully, due to my close spacing.



July 8

This early "strain" of beautiful awned white winter wheat has been grown for a few years in our garden (Michigan Tall North).   I've been selecting and replanting based on the size of the head.

Early white awned winter wheat

I won't know for sure until I thresh all my types and tabulate the results, but I confident this one will be in the top yield per square foot in the early harvest category.   You might wonder why I select for early in addition to yield (and someday I hope to add taste to the process).  I harvest mostly with a hand sickle I do not want everything to be exposed to the same weather risk and be harvested at the same time!

Gathered a few more stalks of Karan 19 barley.

Michigan Amber winter wheat  is one of my precious grow-outs this season.  I received two 5 gram samples from the USDA. 

Michigan Amber winter wheat

A mouse  has begun to carefully choose the most ripe heads each evening.  Today, I cut 10% of the most ripe stalks.  The seeds were hard enough, I just want to be sure to hedge my bets.

I cut some of the earliest stalks of Sangaste Rye to sure I'm covered in the event of a weather/critter accident.  Here's a photo from when they were greener.



July 7

Yamhill wheat was a selection I made because it often appears in university trial reports.  I thought I should grow it as reference.  This soft white wheat released in 1969 was developed for the Pacific Northwest.  Several sellers recommend using for wheat hay and forage.   I only had 75% survive to harvest, however, this area was a little more weedy than desired. While sorting the stalks into 'seed grade' and 'eat grade', I was pleasantly surprised how many nice heads in this first season in humid Michigan.


 My Karan 19 barley plot is very small.  I had poor germination this Spring, as a result, I will harvest this strain stem by stem as they ripen.  That method is a lot more work, but it's what I do when I start with limited seed stock and don't want to chance the mice & chipmunks.  Here is an earlier photo when they were still greener:

Karan 19 grain head



July 6

The awns on Turkey Red winter wheat were so 'open' looking I was concerned it was going to drop the seeds.


So far season, Red Awnless (W35), holds its seeds more loosely than the others.  Of course that will make it easy to thresh, but will leave a few rogue plants next season.  This strip will be rotated to potatoes next year so they won't cause any issues.

 As the heads ripen, they turn a dark red color.



July 5th

The first of my Spring planted grains ready for cutting was a barley.  Naked Food Barley 108-414 had a little lodging, however, they mostly fell on each other and the adjacent oats.  I'll increase the spacing next year.



July 4th

Next came a winter wheat I call Michigan Short South winter wheat.


July 2

After a period of darn hot weather, the cutting season began with Plainsman V wheat.  I planted my original 25 seeds last Fall. 



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