For the last several days, I have cruised the wheat field, all 4 x 40 feet of it. I learned that once it started to ripen, it is important to check it daily by tasting a wheat berry. When the wheat is unripe, the berry is sort of mushy. Once it ripens, the berry sort of cracks. As a farmer, I checked it every day for the last week or so. On Thursday, a berry cracked. So, I scheduled my beautiful mom to come over on this beautiful Saturday morning and help with the harvest. She’s been looking forward to it…
A John Deere combine wouldn’t fit on Gladys Drive, plus there is a tricky telephone pole at the end of the retaining wall, so we opted for a hedge trimmer instead. Bzzzzzzzzzzz.
At some point in the process, I had to relinquish control. I mean, I wanted to cut each stalk with scissors to ensure that I wouldn’t lose any wheat. It became clear within seconds that scissors, shears, or lawn trimmer were not going to do it. Hedge trimmer it was. I buzzed it one way, and the wheat fell the other. My mom started gathering it up, and we tied a string around it. (To make a sheave, people!)
After we bundled and tied all the wheat, and placed it on the front porch, we went back over the cut wheat to gather extraneous grain. Couple of passes, and I gathered about another pound of grain.
After that, I gave the field a buzz cut. I will turn the soil next week.
In the meantime, the wheat will sit on the porch continuing to dry until my thumbnail won’t make a dent in a berry. Then it’s time to winnow!
I feel Amish.