Combed Wheat Reed – Harvesting to supply and sell
We are also growers and suppliers of combed wheat reed, having harvested our own for 15 years, every October we drill the fields then tend to our crops until late July.
We still use old fashioned machinery and traditional methods. We cut the reed using a reaper binder which then ties the reed into sheaves. This is then placed into stooks (by hand!) After a few weeks the sheaves are dry enough to be stored in the barn ready for combing.
Reuben grows his own wheat to ensure the most highest quality Combed Wheat Reed as well as supplying other thatchers. The wheat is put through a reed comber fitted to the old threshing machine and once all the seeds are removed the stalks are placed into reed bundles.
We have owned our own comber for the last 12 years. Originally, Mr Hurford from Honiton would comb our reed however due to the distance of travelling with such a large machine he was unable to do this anymore. Therefore, we decided the time had come for us to buy our own machine and continue this traditional method. We managed to find one from a Mr M Dray from Devon. The machine took my Dad (who owns an engineering works) about 300 hours to restore to good working order (thanks Dad!).
We are now in a position to travel around Somerset combing other farmers / Thatcher’s crops.