Weatherbury Farm Grain Tracker
From Planting to Harvest, Westsylvanian Common Buckwheat (Whole Buckwheat Flour) in the field:
Rototilling for buckwheat
This year, buckwheat followed Appalachian Wheat which was harvested on July 4th. Following crops make great use of land.
The buckwheat is planted into the rototilled field. The rototiller is used after wheat and before planting buckwheat. It works similarly to a garden rototiller — it is just much larger.
Buckwheat plants are emerging from the earth — 4 days after planting.
Hope springs eternal — hopefully the deer won’t eat this year’s crop of buckwheat as they did in 2021!
Buckwheat in the field — 17 days after planting.
Bees love Buckwheat.
Unfortunately, so do deer.
To our minds, there is nothing prettier than a buckwheat field in bloom.
The buckwheat is ~ 3/4th mature and ready to be swathed.
Swathing will lessen deer and bird pressure on the crop.
The swather cuts the buckwheat into windrows, which is laid on stubble for good air circulation so that the nearly mature seeds will ripen. Windrowing increases the yield and helps reduce shattering of the beans.
Oh Happy Day: Farmers 1 , Deer 0
This year even though the deer nibbled off the top of the buckwheat stalks, the farmers were able to harvest the crop.
Emptying harvested buckwheat into gravity wagon for transport across the road to the farm for storage.
While Nigel is overseeing the unloading, he is probably dreaming about buckwheat pancakes.
Westsylvanian Common Buckwheat Facts 2022
In 2022, Westsylvanian Common Buckwheat was grown in Independence Township on our home farm. The farm is part of a 436 acre grant (known as Extravagance) surveyed to John Doddridge on April 6,1786. According to the Caldwell Atlas , the farm was established by M.T. Murdock in 1825. Murdock is listed as a farmer, grain, stock and wool grower (with 150 sheep). The farm was later a dairy operation (the Patterson family: 1945-1966) and a cattle operation (the Eastham family: 1966-1986). In 2008, we began raising grains on both the home farm and neighboring farms. The grains were certified organic in 2009 . In April 2014 Weatherbury Farm began stone-grinding flour. Weatherbury Farm also raises grass fed beef.
After harvesting the Appalachian Wheat on July 4 from this field, the field was mowed and subsequently rototilled on July 30, 2022.
The buckwheat was planted on two fields totaling 5.39 acres on August 1, 2022 .
The buckwheat was swathed on October 11, 2022. At Weatherbury Farm, when the buckwheat is ~ 3/4rds mature, we utilize a swather to cut buckwheat into windrows to stop deer and bird pressure on the crop. The windrow is laid on stubble for good air circulation. In the windrow, some dry matter will translocate into the nearly mature seeds and they will ripen. Windrowing increases the yield and also helps reduce shattering because it is done when the maturity is right, with the seed caught among the stems.
The buckwheat was combined (harvested) on October 30, 2022, allowing the buckwheat to cure for several days after it was swathed.
For an illustrated explanation of how Weatherbury grains become flour, visit the from seed to flour page.
About Westsylvanian Common Buckwheat
Buckwheat is a pseudo-cereal crop (it closest relative is rhubarb) that produces short, wide-spreading plants bearing bright green, heart-shaped leaves and lovely white ﬂowers.
Since circa 4000 B.C. in the Balkan region of Europe, Buckwheat has been providing essential nutrients, vitamins, energy, and ﬁber to humanity. Buckwheat arrived in the U.S. with the European colonists. And, since that time, can be found growing in just about every corner of the globe.
While buckwheat can be planted in the spring, at Weatherbury Farm it is planted after wheat to provide two crops in one year (an excellent soil utilization strategy). Buckwheat hulls make excellent garden mulch.
Buckwheat is milled into organic unbleached buckwheat flour.
Health benefits of Buckwheat
Buckwheat provides a high quality protein with all eight essential amino acids and is one of the best sources of protein in the plant kingdom. Despite its name, buckwheat actually doesn’t contain any wheat or the protein gluten. It is milled, however, on the same mill as wheat at Weatherbury so traces of wheat may remain, despite purging of the mill between flour types. Buckwheat contains Rutin, a phytonutrient, which is an important antioxidant for heart health supports liver, brain and digestive health.
To read more about buckwheat flour, please visit our products page.
More information on buckwheat and other grains grown at Weatherbury Farm are on the grains we grow page.