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Grain Amaranth, when to harvest, how to process?

 
Jimbo Mathews
Posts: 13
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My 'Golden Giant' Amaranth plants are over 7 feet tall, with 15" tall and 8" wide grain heads. Some are darker redish brown, some are a more faded golden brown. I can pull off a bit of the 'grain' head and roll it around to reveal little tiny white seeds that I assume aren't fully mature yet. How do I tell when to harvest? Do I whack off the heads and hang them up to dry when its time?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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when the plants are dying back, it won't get any more mature. And you probably have a few days TOPS between when it is ready and when the birds have cleaned the heads bare!!

Cut the heads carefully (they will lose seeds easy at that point) and shake and rub them inside a 5 gallon bucket or paper grocery bag. Then winnow the seed from the chaff and you are done.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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We cut them when seeds start to fall out when you lightly rub the head.

From there it's hung to dry over a sheet. Thresh it any way you like. Winnowing is done by machine. Journeytoforever.com has plans for a multiple purpose winnow machine.

Or you can get a winnow basket and a fan. This is how I did it once. Got a few lbs of grain in an hour. But when you have hundreds of lbs it's best to use a machine.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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