how to make a dirt(y) lentil
First rains mean it's time to pop the seeds in. A month or so later, in mid-autumn, after a few light rains...
With a little luck, some farmer-care and 350 to 500mm rainfall a flower pops and from it a pod is born.
Let them keep growing, tick tock...the seeds will fatten up inside the pods. Here's a never seem before shot from a lentil-cam - well not really, Im lying it has been seen before and we don't have a lentil- cam, but if we did we'd see a snap) of what's inside the pod. Bust one open and you'll find a fresh mature lentil. There are two seeds per pod so they never get lonely while growing up.
The crop has hit about 40 cm height and the then the sun dries out the plant and the pods.
Drive a big ass tractor through and head them off.
The technical term here is "chuck 'em in a shed" and make your very own Lentil Mountain.
grading and sorting
Get a big machine and ask Yank Seeds to press the button.
Ok, there is a bit more to it than that ...
mad stuff in the machine
Blow chaff ( last years wheat crops, barley, oats...anything that the nitrogen-gifting lentils helped grow in the previous years crop rotation), run over screens (seperate any big foreign objects, weird stuff ends up in fields - sticks, tractor parts, UFO vistor junk food wrappers). Get on gravity table and seperate heavy items that wouldn't be lentils (pebblestone is the one we are looking to get out here, it's heavier and will vibrate to the edge of the table).
bag 'em up
Machine clean and ready for our warehouse.
The nice people at Barkuma get their hands dirt(y) and pack all of our chickpeas, lentils and dried wakame. They’re like the elves at Christmas only better ‘cause they work year-round and don’t sing carols.
some time next year
Happy retailer, Kate Allen - Nature's Providore (Malvern)