Sunday, October 25, 2009

harvest time

OK. we tried several experiments this season, and I planted a strip of sunflowers out in the barley field where the planter had missed. These guys did very well. Huge heads, lots of seeds, now I just need to figure out how to hull them quickly. We did some oil seed sunflowers and some confection sunflowers. I think I will plant more next year if we are able to put these to use. Any suggestions for hulling easily?


At November 4, 2009 8:49 PM , Anonymous Tom Carrow said...

I've got it: I believe it's in SE Asia that the locals use water birds (cormorants?) to fish for them. The tie a stout string around the bird's neck and when the bird dives and catches a fish, it can't swallow the "fisherman" recovers the fish and sends the bird back into the water. Soooo, I recommend capturing some goldfinches, tying strings around their necks, and putting them to work. the little buggers decimated the sunflowers I planted a few years ago. The "harvesting" will be slow, but it'll be much easier on the hands/fingers.

You're welcome... :-)

At November 15, 2009 7:07 PM , Blogger Steve Carrow said...

Tom; I dried the heads for a while, then "shelled out" the seeds from the heads, using gloves, so it wasn't so bad. Now need to find a quick way to get the seeds out of the shells. Yeah, if I was a ballplayer, I would pop the whole thing in my mouth and split out the hulls. I also need to winnow out the chaff that fell in to my bag with the seeds. I'll fool with it when I get some more spare time.

At March 4, 2010 11:45 PM , Blogger Joe Carrow said...

I think my best idea is to get a couple of rollers rigidly mounted with a tight spacing just a little less than the seeds with shells on. An old style cloths wringer might do it with some modification. Wood rollers probably aren't hard enough.

To separate the seeds from the chaff, I think that a combination of wire mesh shelves shaking and fans blowing is how it's generally done.

At March 27, 2010 3:52 PM , Blogger Steve Carrow said...

Joe- I am hoping someone else has figured out small scale hulling for me, so I don't have to go through endless trials and wasted seed. If I can't find one out there, your idea sounds reasonable.


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