As part of our weekly highlight of a particular plant and it’s usefulness to the prepper/homesteader, last week we touched on wheat on the Crisis Application Group Facebook page. As promised, since wheat has been instrumental in man’s domination of the planet, I will attempt to shed more light on it’s importance to preppers.
There are lots of opinions and speculation as to the relevance that small grains play in the preparedness/homestead world. Some argue that there’s better alternatives such as potatoes and other crops. In some cases I think that may hold true. However, each of us are preparing or living a simple homestead life for a reason, whatever it may be. It is this reason that should dictate your decision making process. I’ll admit, some of us have some outlandish reason’s that have almost zero chance of ever coming to fruition. So check yourselves once in a while and think about the “why”. If you think it’s cheaper to grow your own grain instead of buying flour at the store, look into the labor and time it takes. The same can hold true for other DIY activities. But, if you want to know where your food comes from, it’s organic or maybe just self-sufficiency as a prepper, then those reasons can make it a worthwhile effort.
Last week I demonstrated some typical yields of wheat and how that annual production correlates to food for your family and livestock. Even a small family in a subdivision can grow a plot in the back yard. I did it as a test and yielded 48 lbs from a 15×15 plot planted with 1 lb of seed (triticale). That’s enough for 1 loaf of bread a week for nearly a year.
The next step is harvesting. When I did the test, we cut the heads off and placed them in a 5 gallon bucket and I used a rod with a chain attached in a drill. The spinning beat the seeds out. Then we poured the wheat from one bucket to another with a small fan blowing the chaff away. One that was done, I placed the seed in the chest freezer to kill and bugs or eggs. After that it was into a mylar bag.
From a prepper standpoint, depending on your personal SHTF scenario, it may be easier to buy bulk grain and store it. You will need a method to make it useable. Whether it’s bashing it between two rocks, a hand crank stone or burr grinder, an electric coffee grinder or some other method, you need to think about that before you need flour.
The reason most preppers store grains whole is because it lasts longer. Flour just doesn’t keep that long. Freezing flour also keeps those mysterious bug from just showing up in a bag of flour. My wife always thought the bugs were from the house until I explained that the eggs are in the flour and they hatch and eat it from inside the container.
So, take it for what it’s worth and use the info as you see fit.