As posted previously, Zina has decided that she really likes the tasks involved with wheat, bean and corn production. She spent hours this season cutting down wheat, picking beans and corn. As a result, next year’s addition to the growing menu is going to be dent corn and organic spring wheat along with the beans. The total area will be around an acre. The book I’m reading about small scale grain production lays out a detailed plan for rotating the wheat and corn behind legumes (beans and alfalfa) and clover. This helps to build the soil and to replenish the nitrogen being extracted by the grains.
Processing all of this by hand would be a fools task. However, it has been a challenge to find small scale equipment as most of this ridiculous country has gone to massive scale production. Homesteading equipment is a bit hard to come by unless you are willing to buy, refurbish, and then use, antiques.
Our search has not been for nought. We tracked down a hand cranked grain mill, a corn seeder, and a peddle powered thresher (cuts the heads off the wheat stalks). I found a small disc harrow for the tractor and a chain link harrow. These are for preparing the soil and covering the seeds. I will need to rent a trailer to get the disc to the property however. It weighs 500 pounds and I would never be able to get it out of my pickup!
Treadle powered thresher