Sometimes, your wheat may need to be checked for moisture content. On a hot sunny day you can dry your wheat.

I have dried my wheat on the trampoline in the sun. The summer breeze dried the grain in just a few hours. I’ve also poured wheat onto a tarp on the lounge floor in the sun. In a single day it dried out.

This is our oats drying. The trampoline is a great way to dry out grain. In the heat of this summer I emptied our grain onto the trampoline at home near Hamilton, New Zealand.

I needed to keep a watchful eye on it in case birds discovered it. That’s Mount Pirongia in the background.

The oats lost any excess moisture in half an hour. I could have left it there for longer. It was very hot on the trampoline.

Jacqui Vowles used another way to dry her wheat. This is her story.

“We recently checked our 33 tins of wheat and found 22 put down in 1974 are excellent – they smelled a bit like a freshly opened hive – yum.

10 smelled of mould – they weren’t obviously mouldy but you’d taste it if you ate this wheat – presumably the moisture content was too high when we sealed it – CO2 was used – the chooks are enjoying it!

1 had rusted through and was suitable only for compost.

As a result – when we purchased more wheat the other day we decided to check the moisture content – see photo 1 – we put a pail of it in the sun, out of the wind, and under glass.

Within 20 min there were big drops of water on the underside of the glass. I turned the glass over and wiped the moisture off. 5 minutes later there was a sheen of moisture over 3/4 of the glass. At this stage we decided to stir the grain by digging a hand to the bottom of the pail, cupping it and pulling it to the top – we did this all the way around the edge of the pail – 6-7 scoops.

We also decided to prop the glass on an angle towards the sun so that the moist air could escape and we didn’t have to keep an eye on it. see photo 2

We have almost finished our insulated storage room and are planning to leave the pails open with the dehumidifier on

We have an Excaliber drier and wondered if we should use that – we understand that dry enough is when you put a grain on the concrete, hit it with a hammer and if it shatters like glass it is dry – if it squashes it is not. See ‘the Resilient Gardener’ by Carol Deppe available in the Auckland library system.

We bought the organic grain from Chantal organics – excellent service – so I’m not concerned re the quality of the grain – just thought you may like to encourage people to check their grain for moisture before storing it.”

Jacqui Vowles, New Zealand.

Make a solar grain drier

Use a bucket and a sheet of glass to dry your grain in the sun.