June 22 through 27, 2009
While we are traveling through Kansas in late June the winter wheat harvest is in full swing. It seems that Kansas received rain in early June that pushed back the harvest. Fields are still wet but harvesters are operating around the clock.
Quintessential Kansas Wheat Field
This is an extremely common sight. Wheat seems to be in almost every field in east central Kansas.
Mennonite Immigrant House In Goshen, Kansas
Many Mennonite communities are scattered throughout Kansas. This community of Mennonites migrated from Russia carrying wheat seeds with them. They settled in Kansas and have been here ever since. I think this was in Goshen, Kansas.
Mennonite threshing stone on display in Goshen, Kansas
This is an old Mennonite threshing stone. I have no clue as to how it was used but I Googled "threshing" and found one place that said: "threshing is the process of separating wheat seeds from the straw" then another article said: "Threshing is the process of loosening the edible part of cereal grain from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounds it. It is the step in grain preparation before winnowing, which separates the loosened chaff from the grain. Threshing does not remove the bran from the grain."
Wickipedia added: :Another traditional method of threshing is to make donkeys or oxen walk in circles on the grain on a hard surface. A modern version of this in some areas is to spread the grain on the surface of a country road so the grain may be threshed by the wheels of passing vehicles."
Take your pick. It has something to do with getting wheat from the field into an edible product. Why the groves on this stone if threshing is done on the surface of a country road by the wheels of passing vehicles?
This threshing stone looks like a stone gear to me. But then again it looks like it was operated like a cart. You can tell I do not know anything about threshing wheat.
I found this information using a Google search: Threshing Stones, were used by the Mennonites of Russia. The threshing stone is a seven-ribbed cone-shaped stone wheel with a round hole through the horizontal axis. It was about thirty inches long and two feet in diameter. Each six-inch rib is tapered from six inches at the base to two and one-half inches at the outer edge. In Kansas such threshing stones were cut according to a wooden model, provided by the early Mennonite settlers, in a stone quarry near Florence.
"The cut grain was spread in two concentric circles on the threshing floor with the heads of the grain facing each other. The threshing stone was pulled by two horses; the ribbed stone rolling over the heads of the grain knocked the grain and chaff from the straw, after which the grain was fanned."
Ok, I still do not know why it had to be ribbed.
Mennonite church Goshen, Kansas
This is a Mennonite church in Goshen, Kansas.
Beautiful Kansas wheat field
Joyce took this picture late in the afternoon from the top of a COE dam looking down into the valley behind the dam. Note that some of the fields have been harvested while others continue to dry out enough to get the harvester in without fear of getting stuck.
We stopped by the small Kansas town of Hudson to take the Stafford County Flour Mill tour but only got to see a very good video and talk with some of the employees who explained everything to us.
We didn't get to take the tour because it was late in the day and the workers had already gone home. Temperatures this week have been at or over 100-degrees so the mill workers have been coming in early and leaving early before temperatures reached the 100-degree mark.
Hudson Cream Stafford County Flour Mill in Hudson, Kansas
When in Hudson for the Stafford County Flour Mill tour we wandered through their display room.
Someone had sewn a quilt that advertised Hudson Cream which is the flour produced at Stafford County Flour Mill. It is called Cream because of the fine texture. It is ground finer than other flour that you can buy.
Google Stafford County Flour Mill and Hudson Cream to purchase their flour and learn about why it is so special.
Kansas wheat field
This is so typical of Kansas. Miles and miles of wheat.
This is not a normal operation. A "local" truck is being loaded with grain from one of the silos. We watched as this truck moved around to the other side of the silos and dumped his load of grain. The only thing I can figures is that they wanted the grain in another silo. It looks like air pressure is what is moving the grain. The red tractor is supplying the power to move the grain.
Here are some of our other Kansas Travel Adventures:
Until next time remember how good life is.
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