Buckwheat is easy to cultivate and harvest. You can harvest it manually or by machine. The fruit of the buckwheat consists of a small triangular outer seed pod and the meat, or groat, inside. Both the hull and the groats are used for commercial purposes, the latter for food products and the hulls in pillows. Removing the husks (or hulls) is typically done on large farms with a threshing machine. It can also be done manually by pounding the harvested buckwheat pods with a stick or bat until they break open. You can then separate the hulls from the groats.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Clean ground cover
- Large clubs or bats
Harvest the buckwheat plants by machine or by hand (using a scythe). Allow the plants to air-dry for two weeks, either tied in shocks in the field or laid out in a barn or similar covered structure.
Lay out a large ground cover or old clean bedsheet on flat ground outdoors. Spread the dried buckwheat plants in a single layer on the ground cover.
Pound the seed pods with a club, bat or large clean stick. Keep pounding until all the seed pods are broken open. Complete with each batch of harvested plants until all have been threshed.
Remove the inner seeds, or groats, from the cloth. Reserve them for use in buckwheat flour, cereals or for baking.
Remove the hulls. Clean them by blowing with strong air currents to remove all dust. Use the hulls to stuff pillows for humans or beds for pets.
Tips and warnings
- The cleaned hulls are often used in pillows. The hulls conform easily to individual contours and therefore provide excellent back and neck support. Their natural properties also make them good insulators, allowing them to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- If the hulls are to be used commercially, avoid crushing them during the threshing process; the best hulls for pillows are as close to complete halves as possible.