Paul requested this subject in the perennial grain thread.
When I was in the Northern Sacramento valley 1964-5 rice that was left in the bottom of the bins was available free. I was given a quantity by someone that had gone out to shovel it out of the bin. They gave up on it because it was to difficult to get the hulls off. I tried running it through a grain mill set with the plates the width of the grain but to much was catching endways and cracking into pieces that would blow away with the chaff.
I took the mill apart to study how I could modify it. My dad had some slabs of black walnut wood curing there So I decided to make replacement plates out of the wood. when reassembled the mill could be adjusted to the right spacing so that the hulls were rubbed off and the grain remained whole. There is a steady wind that blows up the valley so it was very easy to winnow the chaff from the grain.
Here it is 50 years later and I came across the mettle plates for that mill while moving things in the barn here in Washington to make repairs. The mill is buried where I can not get to it at the moment but I suspect when I do it will still have the wood plates in it. My brother in law fixed up a smaller mill with a shaking screen for grinding flour which I used last fall to grind my experimental patch of winter wheat. This year I am going to try a patch of rice where my field naturally has about 6 to 12 inches of ponding in the winter and it stay wet until August. Hopefully I can get both mills working and do some video to share.
We used to buy wheat out of the field in Illinois and sit and pick dead grasshoppers, weed seeds and then winnow by hand. We may have used up more calories than the wheat provided in the end...we never got very efficient. Someone in our area had a large grinder where we took it to be ground into flour 50 pounds at a time.
Looking forward to your video!
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
“When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
I have seen people try to make rubber plates, but if wood works that would be AWESOME.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
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"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?