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Threshing and winnowing Forage Rye
August 8, 2018
We have grown field beans and forage rye here at Stonelands as they are brilliant green manure crops. We sowed them last Autumn and they overwintered and suppressed the weeds really well. Both the crops bring up Nitrogen and then release that to the next crop as we either leave it as a mulch or dig it in.
This year we left the forage rye and the field beans to go to seed and have been experimenting with saving the seed so that we can cover and improve a much larger area into next year.
We saved the field bean seed easily and gathered the tops of the forage rye at the end of July.
This week we have been experimenting with threshing and winnowing the forage rye in order to save the seed. The method we found that works the best is to put the tops into a sack and hit it against something for a while and then put the results through a sieve. It can then be winnowed by pouring it from bucket to bucket in the breeze.