As reported in detail in one of the previous blog-posts, the wheat at Howell Living History Farm was harvested using both historic and more modern methods. As part of a Saturday event open to the public, three horses were used to pull a McCormick Reaper-Binder. In order to demonstrate the historic process of threshing wheat, the farmers at Howell Farm then also set up their Peerless Thresher (manufactured by Trenton Agricultural Works in Trenton, NJ in the late 19th century) as a demonstration at the Mercer County 4-H Fair. Hand-threshing with a flail was another technique employed by interpreters, which allowed for hands-on participation from visitors. The grain was then set aside for winnowing during fall.
The remainder of the wheat crop was harvested with a 1960 John Deere Model 42 combine. This wheat was then winnowed using a Clipper Grain and Seed Cleaner, manufactured by A.T. Ferrell and Co., from Saginaw, Michigan. Once it had been winnowed, it was sent to a local grist mill to be turned into whole wheat flour. This flour was finally used for baking during programs and will be sold in the Howell Farm gift shop as well as donated to local food banks.
To highlight the importance of that donations to local food banks, we now share a 2020 conference contribution featuring Howell Living History Farm director Pete Watson talking about the "Share the harvest" program: