Pupils use their loaf with own wheat
Priddy School Eco Club has just completed an exciting project by making a granary loaf for the school Harvest Festival made from wheat that they grew themselves.
The 11 children have been involved at every stage.
They planted the winter wheat in a raised bed in October last year. They had to keep a record of its growth and ensure the crop was kept weeded. Despite the vagaries of the weather the crop grew well and ripened.
Each Eco Club member made their own sheaf when they harvested it last month before experimenting with different methods of threshing.
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On a bright sunny morning the threshed wheat was winnowed by hand in a stiff Priddy breeze on the school playing field.
The club then went on a trip to Burcott Mill, Wookey, where the miller Steve French gave them a tour of the mill, seeing the water driven wheel in action grinding the wheat.
They saw how the power of the wheel could be harnessed to drive other machinery including a grinder for sharpening tools and a pulley to haul the sacks of grain from the ground floor to the millstones on the upper floor.
The children had the opportunity to use the mill's quern stone to grind their own wheat into flour, by hand, a method which would have been used as far back as Roman times.
At the end of the afternoon they watched the mill wheel being stopped, the sluice gate on the mill leat being opened and the water hurtling downhill to rejoin the River Axe.
The children all came away with a bread roll made at the mill and bought a bag of Burcott Mill flour to supplement their own flour.
The group plans to explain the whole project at the harvest service on Friday after which the loaf will be shared between everyone in the school.