Planting Wheat In Solidarity

Thank you for being a part of the art by planting wheat in solidarity with Agnes Denes' Wheatfield.

If you’ve picked up seeds from Tinworks Art at Gallatin County Earth Day Festival, a Give Big event, or at our site at 719 N Ida, we ask that you first fill out the short sign-up via the link below.

Planting Wheat In Solidarity

Instructions for Planting Wheat

THE SEEDS The wheat seed you received is KAMUT® Khorasan Wheat (Triticum turgidum, ssp. turanicum), an ancient wheat variety from Mesopotamia, typically planted as spring wheat. The KAMUT® brand is a guarantee of receiving the unmodified, unhybridized ancient khorasan wheat, always organically grown, that meets high purity, quality, and nutrition standards. All seeds sold under the KAMUT® brand must first be guaranteed by Kamut International Ltd. This wheat is prized for nutrition (protein, vitamins, minerals), ease of digestibility, sweet, nutty-buttery flavor, and texture. This grain contains gluten, but folks with sensitivity to modern wheat have reported finding KAMUT® easier to digest. To learn more about KAMUT® visit

Your packet of seeds is enough to cover a 4’ x 10’ plot.

This organic wheat seed has been generously donated by Abundant Montana.

PLANTING AND GROWING It is recommended to plant KAMUT® in the spring between April 15 to May 15.

  • Plant seeds in a sunny area about 1-1.5” deep, spaced about 6-9” apart (about 25-30 seeds/sq ft). Be advised that new wheat plants and weeds may look alike in first weeks, so weed with care. Keep plants well-watered at the start.
  • Germination is typically 5-10 days and grows to about 3-5 ft. Once sprouted, keep the wheat stress free by weeding and watering. Stop watering when 75% of heads are gold and the heads begin to naturally slightly bend down.

HARVESTING This wheat should mature in about 4 months in mid-late August. Wheat is ready to harvest when seeds from grain head are “rock hard” in your mouth, NOT chewy, or are unable to be dented with your fingernail.

  • Depending on the size of your plot, cut down the plants at their base or about a foot below the wheat heads, using a pair of scissors, grass or garden shears, a hand scythe, or a weedwhacker. The stalks may be reused for garden pathways and landscaping.
  • Small batches of harvested wheat bundles (sheaths) can be tied upside-down by their stalks from a clothesline or hook. Hang over large grocery bag to catch seeds which may fall.
  • Medium volumes of wheat bundles can be stood upright leaning against a wall.
  • Larger volumes of wheat bundles can be gathered into a round tent structure standing upright (a shock). If drying outside in shocks, the heads can be covered with cheesecloth tied over the head portions or paper bags to prevent birds from eating.
  • All the grain heads should be facing in the same direction when drying. Keep plants away from sun, rain, pests while drying. Let harvested wheat dry until no trace of green remains on the heads.
  • Allow wheat to dry with good airflow for 7-10 days or up to a few weeks. Fully dry seed before threshing.

THRESHING This step involves separating the heads of the wheat away from the stems. There are several ways to accomplish this:

  • Place the heads in a pillowcase or cotton bag with draw string. Grasp the bag in your hand ensuring no seeds will fall out and whack it against a hard surface like a sidewalk, a brick wall, driveway, patio, or road. Shake the bag from time to time. Pour on to a screen or into a large bowl to sift out large stems.
  • Place heads in bag and hit with a stick. Pour the contents of your bag on to a window or sifting screen to see how many wheat berries have separated from the chaff (encasing). Pour contents out on to a screen or into a large bowl.
  • Grab a handful of stalks and whack the heads against the side of a bucket. Wheat berries will collect at the bottom.
  • Lay out a piece of cotton fabric with the wheat laying on it and stomp on the heads until seeds begin to separate.
  • Threshing will need to be repeated multiple times and may be time consuming.
  • For more industrious threshers, drill attachment threshers can be fabricated.

WINNOWING This step separates the chaff (lightweight skin covering) from the wheat berry.


  • Gather a handful of wheat seeds with chaff and drop it slowly back on so your screen. If it is windy outside the air will blow away the chaff from the wheat berries. You can also perform this dropping of wheat into a receptacle or on to a screen in front of a fan on low.
  • Stand outside with a cotton sheet between two people and bounce the wheat up in the air on a windy day. The wind carries away the chaff as it rises into the air and heavier grain will fall back down.
  • Please note, you will probably lose some wheat berries during this winnowing step.
  • You will need to repeat this step several times until the wheat berries are completely cleaned of chaff.

MILLING When your wheat berries are ready to mill we will have a hand crank grinder on site in our Family & Community Space to turn it into flour. Folks may use this grinder and schedule a time on Thursday through Saturday by emailing Drop-in milling using the hand crank grinder will be available all throughout the day on Sundays in August, September, and October, 10am-6pm (regular exhibition hours).

Additional information

There will be additional harvesting, threshing, and milling events late August, all of September, and October involving community groups and using larger milling machinery. For the most up-to-date information about this scheduling, please sign up for our newsletter at


1 lb wheat grains = 1lb unsifted flour = 3.5 cups

  • Wheat “berry” = wheat seed
  • A helpful site for growing wheat in gardens is (Search “wheat.”)
  • You can mill cleaned seed in a high- power and performance blender.
  • Don’t wait too long to harvest your grain or birds and critters may get your grain.