I finally got to winnow my mustard this morning. I wanted a time when it wasn't too cold and we got into the 60s today. Probably for the last time this year. I like to do this outside as it is very messy. It is also very irritating. I always use a breathing filter and long sleeves, pants, and gloves. I even got some of the bits on my face this time and ouch! I had to wash it off quickly.
I put the seed heads into a pillow case and stomp on them. Then I shake the pillow and all the chaff comes up to the top and the seeds and small bits go to the bottom. Then I use wind, either with a small fan or by blowing on them, to get rid of the small bits - oh what I'd give for a good set of screens for this. Lastly I went through the seed to pick out any bad ones. In the past I didn't do this but some had turned grey. Was it mold? I didn't want to risk it so I took them out. As you can see I ground some for ground mustard. It is better ground fresh, but I'm not going to do that every time I need ground mustard.
I harvested 3.7 oz from a 12 sqft spot. This is not a lot, but it was about the same as I got from the yellow mustard last year when I planted it in the spring. I also have another bag of seed heads drying, but they were picked a bit green. I don't know if the seed will ripen enough, or if like coriander it is good when green. But I want it dead dry when I winnow it as it makes the process go much faster. The seed heads don't break open if they aren't totally dry.
Next year I'm planning to grow it after the garlic so it will get planted next year at just about the same time as it did this year. But the good part is that it will have more space. 20 sqft instead of 12. 3.7 oz is not a lot of mustard for me. I use a lot over the course of the year. I use it whole in things like plum sauce and pickles and ground in things like dressings and mac and cheese. And both in prepared mustard. Needless to say this is not a spice that I'm sharing this year. I just hope it lasts until the next harvest. And I'm hoping the green mustard tastes as good or better than the fully ripe ones. Green mustard would look pretty in dressings and pickles. I probably oughtn't make any prepared though as green mustard would probably freak people out if I served it.