This page contains information about growing wheat, sowing, harvesting ... along with tips, instructions and useful techniques to help you start your own farm and living independently away from cities. Below are information about growing your own crop wheat. If that's what you're loooking for then this is the place for you. Below you will find the most important aspects related to growing wheat, just enough to get you started, if you have any question you can visit our forum and ask our expert farmers.
Before putting wheat in the soil, grass and weed needs to be removed. A farmer would plough the land. He leaves it long enough for the grass to rot. He then probably ploughs it again. He must now get the earth in a soft and workable enough state to be able to put his seed below the surface of the ground where the birds won't get it. So he drags the land about with pointed instruments, such as rail harrows or cultivators. He goes on doing this until the land is soft enough, and the 'tilth' fine enough (meaning that the bigger clods have been broken up) to make it possible to get his seed in. To get his seed in he either scatters it over the surface of the ground and then drags harrows about over it, or hand rakes if it is a small piece of ground, or he drills the seed in. The drill is like a pipe with no back to it which is dragged through the loose soil while the seeds are dropped down the pipe. The pipe opens a furrow, or tiny trench, the seed falls in, and the earth closes in on the seed after the drill has gone past.
Wheat and other corn is sown so thickly, and grows so fast, that it may beat annual weeds, but the land must be fairly clean of perennial weeds (chiefly spear, or couch, grass) otherwise you will not get very much of a crop.
Once it has grown and ready, it must be harvested, dried, threshed, winnowed, cleaned, ground, and baked before you can eat it. You can do all these things by hand, but they can be done very much less laboriously by machine.
If you don’t have enough land to plant wheat, the easy way to do it is to buy your wheat, straight from a farmer if you can get it, store it in ordinary gunny bags, turning the bags every so often and keeping them on wood—not on cold concrete, but in a nice dry place—and grind your own flour in the sort of small mill that we shall discuss later.
To have an idea of which variety of wheat to plant, ask your neighbors, Marris Widgeon or Flamingo are good seeds. If you can get hold of one of the old breeds of wheat like Square Head's Master, or Little Joss, Victor or Yeoman, Rivet or Japhet, do so. Yeoman, by the way, used to be the 'hardest' or 'strongest' of the English wheats, so if you feel you must have a hard wheat then get that.
Wheat will not grow on light, poor soil. If your land is light you must manure it and 'do' it well, maybe for some years, before it will grow good wheat. If your land is heavy and strong you will need a strong-strawed variety, or it will 'lodge', that is fall down, owing to the weight of the crop.
Another thing you must decide is whether to sow winter or spring wheat. Winter wheat should be sown in September or October (copy your neighbors). It grows a little before the winter sets in and then remains dormant until the spring. It then gets off to a head start, grows a heavier crop than spring wheat and can be harvested earlier. Spring wheat is sown in late February or March. It does not give such a heavy crop as winter wheat, but in very cold wintered countries winter wheat will not survive. In Russia and North America spring-sown wheat is almost universal.
Sowing can be done by drilling or broadcasting. Broadcasting is the oldest method, very Biblical. It is one of the most satisfying occupations in the world. You split a sack down, tie two corners of it to make a kind of bag-sling, hang it over one shoulder, fill it with wheat, and walk down the field scattering it. Some people use both hands. Winter wheat should be broadcast at the rate of about three bushels an acre, spring wheat perhaps four. Winter wheat tillers more-that is one seed branches out into numerous plants, therefore you don't need so much seed. As to how to broadcast, so long as you are covering the ground evenly with seed, leaving no 'holidays' (bare patches), nor clumps, and making your three or four bushels more or less stretch to an acre, you are doing all right. The only way to learn is to use the common sense that God has given you. If there are no parallel lines, like furrows, along the field that you can use as guidelines put a white wand at each end of each stretch that you sow (or a white rag on a bush) and walk straight for that.
You must harrow afterwards or the birds will get all your seed. After harrowing all you have to do is to wait for the crop to get ripe and reap it.
Cut the wheat as late as you can before it begins to shed—that is knock out when you cut it. You can cut it with a sickle, a scythe, a grass mower, a binder, or a combine.
The scythe in the hands of a good man should cut an acre a day, but it will take two other people coming behind the scythe to bind the sheaves. Traditionally this work was done by women and children: the use of the scythe is a man's job if there ever was one.
If you liked this page, you might also be interested in this page about Growing Barley.
This page is just one of many pages dedicated to sustainable living through organic farming and living wisely. Growing wheat will enable you become one step closer to food independance. This is beneficial to your health, peace of mind and lifestyle, great for nature, and reduces your carbon footprint. You can really do it yourself, grow your own food, raise your own animals, from simple means. You can go back to nature and sustainability one step at a time. Today growing wheat, tomorrow something else. That's why we have many articles that you can find on the left side of this page to choose from. Each time try to add something to your farm. Sustainable living is your ticket to true freedom. Enjoy the rest of our pages.
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