Wheat is one of the grain crops we grow around our farm. It is all sold with an intention of going to the food market to be used as flour for something like cookies or pastry. But harvesting that grain is only the beginning for the crop, as we also want to harvest the stalk of the dried up wheat plant. We call it ‘straw’ and it is a beautiful golden colour that doesn’t have much nutritional benefit, but still very useful because….
…it is a great at absorbing moisture! We use it as a bedding for the cows to give them a spot that is always clean and dry to lay down on. Sometimes we bale it into the big round bales you see dotting a field. Other times we chop it into fine pieces using a harvester that then blows the loose straw into a large wagon:
That large wagon is then brought up to the barn and emptied into a ‘blower’ that uses large paddles spinning over 500 times a minute to guide it through a set of pipes up into the mow of the barn:
Once in the mow, we use sliding doors in the ceiling of the barn to drop the straw down to the cows whenever we need it!