Russian women using a hand powered winnowing machine in a barn. The outdoor threshing floor was either owned by the entire village or by a single family, and it was usually located outside the village in a place the threshing floor pdf to the wind. Outdoor threshing floors are usually located near a farm or farmhouse, or in places easily accessible from growing areas. Unpaved earthen threshing floors are also sometimes found.
To overcome possible unevenness, and isolate them from water running off after rain so helping to preserve them, threshing floors are often surrounded by a stout low wall. Some large barns have two or even three threshing floors. The floors in barns may be packed dirt, stone, or a tightly fitted wood. Threshing in barns was mostly done by hand with a flail until threshing machines became available in the 19th century. The harvest could be stored in the barn and threshed during the winter. The farm family could use the barn to their advantage in winnowing by standing in a doorway where a slight breeze is magnified by the wind passing around the building.
The grain could then be further cleansed by sieving. The farmer’s dictionary: a vocabulary of the technical terms recently introduced into agriculture and horticulture from various sciences, and also a compendium of practical farming: the latter chiefly from the works of the Rev. New York: Greenwood Press, 1969. This page was last edited on 2 July 2017, at 17:12. Another traditional method of threshing is to make donkeys or oxen walk in circles on the grain on a hard surface.