Backyard Farming: How to Grow and Harvest Grains at Home

January 23, 2020 2:22 am Published by Leave your thoughts

“Farm to table” has been a restaurant industry buzzword for the last few years, but if you have a backyard garden, you’re probably already living that lifestyle. From fruits and vegetables to herbs and edible flowers, growing your own food can be an incredibly satisfying—and practical—hobby.

Have you considered growing your own grains in Lubbock, TX? Wheat, oats and other grains are easy to grow, provide a great source of nutrition and are the building blocks of a balanced diet (or a hearty homebrewing operation).

How much space do I need?

The average backyard size (about 1,000 square feet in America) is plenty of space to grow your own grains. It could produce an entire bushel of wheat—about 60 pounds of grains, or enough to make 90 loaves of bread. If you don’t want to devote your entire backyard to wheat, that’s fine, as even one row of wheat can be enough to make it worthwhile.

Do I need special equipment?

Maybe you’ve seen wheat cut down with a scythe and think that, or other special equipment, is required for a backyard operation. In fact, you can use regular pruning shears to cut the stalks. Threshing, which means removing the grain from the seedheads, can be done by beating the stalks with a stick or broom, and winnowing (removing the papery chaff) can happen with the assistance of a simple household fan. Finally, a good blender can mill the grains for you. There’s no excuse not to give it a try!

What are the weather and planting requirements?

Depending on the grain, you might need warm or cool temperatures (be sure to research before you plant), but all of them will need a sunny location. If your soil is poor, you might need to spread compost over it before planting at about a six-inch depth.

When you plant the seeds depends on whether you picked a warm or cool variety of grain, so pay special attention to issues of timing.

How do I harvest?

When the stalks start changing from green to brown, it’s time to harvest your grains in Lubbock, TX. Cut the stalks down and tie them into bunches. Then hang them and let them dry for a couple weeks—you want the grain to be hard and crunchy. At this point you can thresh the grain, winnow it, store it in glass jars and mill the grain as needed.

While there are plenty more tips and tricks to be had, we hope this basic overview is enough to convince you that fresh, homegrown grains are completely within your backyard reach.

Grow and harvest grains in Lubbock, TX

M.B. McKee Company, Inc. has provided the Lubbock area with components for industrial, agricultural and commercial applications since 1943. If your grain growing is for business instead of pleasure, you can count on us to keep your machinery running smoothly. Our family owned and operated business thrives on providing the best quality parts for your business’s needs. Reach out to us to learn more.

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