To control the quality of the Long Straw used, 'Reed & Straw Thatching' grow, harvest and thrash their own wheat crop. The wheat grown is an old, tall variety, grown without the input of additional fertilisers. Under favourable growing conditions, the wheat can grow to about 5 - 6 foot tall.
Harvesting is done traditionally, using a binder. The wheat is cut whilst still a bit 'green', to retain the strength in the straw.
Here are three short video clips of the binder in operation. Click on each frame to view.
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The resulting sheaves are left standing, to ripen, in the field for 2 - 3 weeks
Once dry, the sheaves are carted in and made into a stack.
The stack is left over winter and then thrashed out in the Spring, to separate the grain from the straw.
Here are a couple of video clips of the threshing drum in operation. Click on each frame, to view.
The resulting straw is trussed up and stacked, ready for use.
The straw is then used to thatch properties.
A couple of 'before & after' photographs.
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