Teff is lovegrass that is annual and is native to Africa. The grass is one of the most important staple crops being cultivated and harvested in Ethiopia and Eritrea. They contribute to almost most of the teff grass of the world but now it is also being cultivated in other parts as well such as India, Australia, and US. The seeds on Teff Grass are very small, and they are referred to as Teff Grain. It is used for a wide range of food applications such as pancakes, cereals, bread, and snacks.
Is it Possible to Harvest?
While it is extremely difficult to harvest the Teff Grain due to the small size of these grains, and it was considered to be impossible a few decades back. Now, it is pretty simple and quite possible to harvest the teff grain for it to be used for the teff flour that is used for a fermented, sour-dough like bread that is widely eaten in the Ethiopian region. If you have managed successfully to grow the Teff and you want to know how you can harvest it to get those teff grains, here is how you can get it done.
How to Harvest Teff Grain?
Now, due to the small size, you will need to be extremely careful and make sure that you are doing it right. You will need to cut down the plants when they start turning yellow. It can take anywhere between 2-6 months depending on the region you have planted it and the rate they are growing. Now, you will need to make sure that you are cutting the plants just above the soil and carefully transport them to a different place for threshing.
Threshing is the process that is used to get grains out of wheat and barley, and it is simply beating them on a pile while the grains fall out and they can be picked. However, it is a bit different with the teff grass and the typical way to get it done is with sickles. The traditional way to get the teff grain threshed was to let the animals walk over it. Although, all that is in the past now and that method has not been in use for several decades because the wastage of seed was uncontrollable with using the animals.
Currently, there are threshers being made that will help you in getting those grains out of the teff grass plants with lesser wastage and that could be the best thing that you can get your hands on. These threshers are specifically designed to ensure that the least amount of grain is wasted during the process and this could be simply the best thing for you to have. If you are unable to get the threshers, manually beating the piles of teff grass on some big stone can help you get the grains out and you will need to make sure that not only the surface is clean but also to ensure that you are able to collect all those grains properly.