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How Grain is Cleaned: From Fan Mill to Table
Wheat and Wide Skies
After I posted a photo essay last summer, showing the wheat harvest on the farm on which I grew up, I had some people say to me, "How do you get the grain clean enough to use for bread?" Today, I'll show you.
There are, of course, more ways of doing it than the one I'll show you, but they all amount to the same thing - shake the dust, insects, and other foreign matter out of the grain. This can be accomplished by using a sieve and a practiced throwing gesture in a bit of a breeze, but I'll show you how my family has done it, using a fan mill.
The following pictures show millet being cleaned for seed, to be used for planting next year's crop, but any kind of grain can be cleaned in a fan mill. The fan mill used here is a family farm model, rather than an industrial model. Industrial models are sometimes housed in semi trailers (huge).
The Electric Fan Mill
The Process of Cleaning Grain with a Fan Mill
Now the grain is clean, and ready to use for baking and cooking.
The barrel of insects, sandburs and other large weed bits is best destroyed.
The thistle seeds, shown in the "too small" tub, can be given to the chickens or destroyed. How it is dealt with may depend on what the main "ingredients" are - what kind of weed seeds are present? How many? How noxious are they?
The finished grain is stored in closed containers until use, and is kept away from sunlight, moisture, and excessive air, in order to preserve its nutritional and germination values.
Are you ready for homemade bread?
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