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Old 10-27-2010, 06:38 PM   #21
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Oct 2009
Granite Bay, CA
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Thanks all, I am interested as well, if not just to know the process. I checked out the above blog as well, great work!

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Old 10-27-2010, 06:48 PM   #22
Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by Jumbo82 View Post
Thanks, Lurker18! Scaling down a couple orders of magnitude, it appears that a 20' by 20' plot would yield about 17 lbs of grain. I doubt it would meet the quality requirements, but I don't mind having some unique flavors. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks!
I'd say the exact opposite. On a small scale, you should be able to achieve improved quality. At a minimum the same as a commercial operation could produce.

We're planting a test crop of wheat in a laughably small area of our back yard at the moment. If things work out, we'll designate a bit more area next season for both Barley & wheat.

And hops, of course.

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Old 10-27-2010, 07:34 PM   #23
Sep 2008
Posts: 3

I haven't been on this site for a long time and just saw that there is some new interest in home barley growing for malting purposes. As I type I can look out and see my 20x50 plot of two-row winter malting barley in the rain. It is about 3 inches high and looking great. I would recommend giving growing barley at home a try even if you have a very small plot to work with. I have made crystal malt from a pound of barley seed and it was a really nice addition to a home brew. It absolutely can be done. It is much more time consuming than buying bulk malt, but home brewing is mush more time consuming than buying a case of Miller High Life. I plan to update my blog much more often now:

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Old 10-27-2010, 07:55 PM   #24
May 2008
Southern, NJ
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I grew winter rye last year as a garden cover crop and let what was around the edges grow to completion. It was a lot of work just to collect enough to add to some bread but it grew well. I guess if I didn't have to work a full time job I would have more time to try a larger area but unless that happens I don't see me doing it. However, this year I planted winter wheat and plan to let some of that go too just in case I decide to try it. Our chickens did eventually figure out how to strip the rye (berries?) from the plants so it went to good use.

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Old 10-27-2010, 11:50 PM   #25
Jul 2010
Posts: 248
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Originally Posted by Jumbo82 View Post
Farmers had been doing it for thousands of years before mechanical harvesters were invented..
True. But usually there were a lot of people helping with harvest. But with the size you're looking at you may only needa couple more people toget it done in a reasonable amount of time. Good luck and take pics!
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:54 AM   #26
Dec 2009
Middle of the Mitten, Michigan
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I farmed for 30 years and am quite familiar with the modern ways....and also the olden ways.

If I was growing a garden plot in NE I would use winter varieties as much as possible.

I would treat plot area with Roundup herbicide before tillage.

Sept 25 - Nov 1 can be optimal planting time for winter varieties.

Scatter seeds on nicely tilled soil and scratch cover with garden rake. They want to be planted shallow.

Harvesting...optimal moisture is when you bite into seed and it has a nice crunch.

The method I would use to hand harvest is as follows:

Use a scythe of some sort to cut the straw just above ground level.

Gather into bunches and tie with cheap twine. (these are called shocks)

Take the shocks onto a concrete surface the smoother and cleaner the better

This step works best on a very breezy day....lay the shock out on concrete and start stomping and sliding your feet across the material. be very thorough. if the breeze is blowing much of the chaff will blow away.

now gather the straw shaking well as you do so. you can either dispose of it or use it to bed your outdoor animals.

you will be left with a pile of chaff and seeds. Scoop this pile up and place in storage containers or bags. Once you have all of your harvest to this stage continue to final step.

DO THIS OUTDOORS!!! Set up a shallow storage container in front of plain ole square box fan. Set the fan on low speed. slowly transfer your harvested material from storaged containers to the shallow pan by dribbling it in front of the fan. This step will get rid of a majority of the chaff and leave you with mostly clean seeds.

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Old 10-28-2010, 01:10 AM   #27
Oct 2010
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I'll be trying my hand at hops next year, if that goes well, I may just have to look this thread up again. Thanks for the info guys. Very informative stuff.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:39 PM   #28
Feb 2012
Lino Lakes, Minnesota
Posts: 22
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This will help (i know this forum is old)

If you plant a half an acre of both you will have way more than enough

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Old 09-11-2014, 04:32 PM   #29
Jan 2010
Posts: 104
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I read somewhere (and can't find it again) that historically grains were harvested earlier than is currently practised, and the grain left to stand for a period of time.

Is this the case? If so, when did the old timers (pre combine) know it was ready?

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Old 09-11-2014, 05:20 PM   #30
Mar 2014
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Originally Posted by Boar Beer View Post
Thats great. 4840 sq yards per acre 1750 lb/acre

Thats 2.5 Yd2 / lb. So for a 1 yard wide row 16 yards long I would get about 16 / 2.5 or about 6 lbs malted barley
John Deere made a 6" cut combine called the 12A back in the 50's.......... There are still a few of those sitting in fence rows. They have the 2 cylinder LU engine on them, and can be pulled with about anything (not self propelled). Small and compact, and a good machine, it is unlikely that you would find a worn out one, as they were quickly replaced by the big ungainly self propelled machines. The whole machine stands about 6' tall excluding the grain tank as I recall. If I were wanting to do what you propose, I would look for one of these. I've bought them for next to nothing at farm auctions just for the engine. They aren't a great deal larger than a square baler, and you can pull one with about anything. They have everything the large machines have but on a smaller scale... a sickle bar cutter, a cylinder, sieves, straw walkers, fan, augers..... etc. Here are some photos................

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