Flour and Cereal Grain Threshers & Mills

by Rena

Grain Mill (Dried corn to corn meal flour)

Hand-turn Grain Mill (Dried corn to corn meal flour – view from above)

Grain Mill (Dried corn to corn meal flour)

–Early 1900s grain mills at the Old Threshers Reunion in Mt Pleasant, Iowa, 2009, above–

Historic crushing and grinding of grains may get you wondering if you should duplicate this process to serve baked goods and cereals with more nutrients. Search online for grain mills. Modern equivalents to these grain mills range from small hand-crank home-kitchen mills to commercial grade mills. Here is a comprehensive site: Pleasant Hill Grain.

One of the grain mills was described as being able to also grind coffee beans. Do you have a coffee mill grinder at home? I’m not sure if this use will harm the coffee grinder in the long run, but when I realized I have a mill already, I ran to the bucket of fresh wheat that was taken off the plant stock not 5 hours before, and ran them through the little electric coffee mill that I bought at Borders store. What do you know — it produced a flour!

This wheat, above, is part of the batch that was threshed and ended up in my coffee grinder hours later. The next video is the people threshing the wheat that ended up in my coffee grinder…

Video: Noisy steam-powered threshing machine

Visit St Clair County Farm Museum in Michigan during their “Old Fashion Harvest Days” for a demonstration of a steam-powered threshing machine.

Wheat can also be harvested by hand and threshed by hand.

Sonya Welter instructs us on how to thresh wheat by hand: “Gather the stalks into bundles and thresh by beating, shaking or stepping on it. Winnow to separate the wheat from the chaff, and store the whole wheat berries in a cool, dark place. Process into flour or bulgur as needed.” Here is a link to a 1947 method of threshing wheat from Gambatesa, Italy.

Visit a Mill Museum

A list of old mills is available
at the Historic Mills page.

Previous post:

Next post: