Ancient Wheats and Their Pesky Hulls
Liberating the grain of an einkorn, emmer or spelt crop doesn’t end with
threshing. North Dakota State University’s Steve Zwinger, who has done research
on emmer for 20 years, says, “Hulled wheats are actually the easiest to
thresh. But for small plots, it’s hard to come up with an effective,
inexpensive way to dehull them.” Because hulls adhere tightly to the
relatively soft kernel, they can be difficult to rub or knock off without also
cracking the kernel.The
GrainMaker company will offer a Homestead Huller Kit as an accessory for its
Model No. 99 mill later this year (shown in the
Slideshow), priced at $275 per pair of dehulling disks. With interest in
hulled wheats growing fast, Zwinger says, we can expect growers themselves to
come up with a new generation of small, relatively inexpensive dehullers. He
says that in these situations, farmers are the creators. As an example, Zwinger
points to Nigel Tudor of Weatherbury Farm, located 40 miles south of Pittsburgh.
Tudor, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is building a
dehuller for emmer and spelt. But, Tudor warns, his dehuller is designed for
larger-scale crops. “It would require a minimum of 60 pounds of grain to work
efficiently,” he says."
More information on
Farmer Nigel's spelt dehuller is available.