To write my piece ‘Do Beans Grow On Trees?’, I researched how beans grow. I had no idea how lentils grew either, which was a great eye-opener for me. For some reason, I had no idea where lentils came from or what a lentil plant looked like. Lentils are one of my favorite things to cook with. How in the world did one plant produce so many small lentils? This is what I discovered!
On a bushy plant with small, oval-shaped leaves and tiny blooms, lentils are found. After the blossoms have wilted, the pods that contain the lentils appear. When the pod becomes brown and dries out, the lentils within are ready to be harvested.
Lentils are little and fussy, making it difficult to imagine what they would look like when they grow on a plant. Moreover, how do you even begin picking these ridiculously small lentils? I wanted to know more, so I decided to go further!
What does a lentil plant look like?
Lentil plants are typically between 30 and 50 centimeters in height.
Long, slender stems, some with hair, characterize this plant. On each stalk, the small, oval-shaped leaves alternate with a cluster of tiny flowers. White, pale pink, pastel purple, or pale blue are the most common colors of the blooms.
It’s a shame that the delicate little lentil flowers only endure for a few days before they close up and the lentil pods are created. A positive outcome of this is that delicious lentils are on their way… So, I suppose, there are some silver linings.
This is what a lentil plant looks like when the pods have formed.
A shot of a lentil plant shows numerous pods developing. There are two little lentils inside each pod that measure about 1.5 centimeters.
In most cases, lentils can be picked 110 days after sowing, when they’ve dried inside their pods. When the pods rattle, the lentils inside are dry, and this is an indication that they are.
How are lentils harvested manually?
Lentil plants are harvested by removing them from the ground. It’s possible to dry out the lentil pods even further by leaving them out in the sun until they’re totally brown and dried out.
To remove the lentil pods, the plants are shook (threshed). On a windy day or in front of a fan, the lentil seeds can be separated from the pods by continually dumping them from one pail to another. Legume is blown into the bucket while lighter “chaff” is removed by the wind.
The idea of sitting in front of a fan with two buckets of lentils makes me laugh out loud. The thought of what my husband would make of this is beyond me.
How are lentils harvested commercially?
The hand harvesting of lentils is a labor-intensive process that is not recommended for large-scale production. So agricultural equipment is used to harvest and thresh lentil plants where they are commercially farmed.
Equipment such as vine lifters make the job even easier.
Where in the world are lentils grown?
It is estimated that lentils have been grown for over 8,000 years, which puts their cultivation at least in the thousands of years. They are, in reality, the world’s oldest pulse crop. In the past, they were grown in Egypt, Iraq, and Turkey, among other places.
Commercial production of lentils has just lately started in other parts of the world. For instance, in the Northern United States, lentil crops now cover 930,000 acres (mostly Montana and North Dakota). In 2017, a British company called Hodmedod’s began producing lentils in the United Kingdom.
Lentils have only been cultivated in Canada since the 1960s, making it the world’s leading lentil-producing country by a wide margin. More than 2 million tonnes of lentils were produced by Canadian farmers in 2019. Due to their widespread use in Indian cuisine, lentils are also grown in large quantities in India.
The top countries for lentil production in 2019 are included in this table.
Can you grow lentils at home?
The good news for gardeners is that you can cultivate your own lentils. In fact, if the lentils you buy at the shop aren’t split, you can grow them from the dry ones you buy there.
Check out this wonderful post on how to grow lentils at home for more information, including how much room you’ll need, the best location to plant them, and how far apart they should be.
Lentils, on the other hand, aren’t the best food to cultivate at home in my opinion. Even a single dinner could necessitate hundreds or even thousands of individual lentils, due to their diminutive size. Growing and harvesting enough lentils for even a single dinner appears labor intensive.
Personally, I prefer to leave the production of lentils to those qualified to do so on a large scale. Other veggies and fruits like tomatoes and potatoes, which provide better yields for less labor, will remain my mainstays in my garden.
How Are These Harvested Individually And Commercially?
Lentils: Individual Harvesting
Approximately a week before harvest, these lentils are swathed and chopped into windows to dry down their weeds, as the lentils give variable crop development and significant weed infestation. Swathing helps to ensure that the lentil seeds are evenly moistened, lowering the likelihood of discoloration.
When the seeds and pods of the lentils are fully grown, they are harvested commercially by direct combination. The use of flex headers, pick-up reels or air reels, automatic height controls and vine lifters on threshing equipment is common among gardeners.
The seed may crack and peel if it is overly dried before threshing, so be aware of this possibility.
How Do You Pick Lentils?
The process of picking or harvesting lentils entails a series of procedures that novice farmers can follow to the letter, while more experienced farmers can use this as a refresher. What do you think?
- To speed up the drying process, apply your desiccant a week before harvesting.
- Once the lentils are ready to be harvested, you can simply go out and pluck them up by the roots.
- For an organic approach, dry the collected plants in the sun.
- You should start drying your lentils indoors if the weather is going to be rainy or gloomy, which is not good for drying lentils.
- Additionally, you can thresh the crops to remove them from their roots.
- You’ll need to be able to extract the lentil pods by hand if any remain after the threshing process.
- To remove the chaff and other impurities from the lentils, use a technique known as winnowing.
- After that, make sure to keep your lentils cool and dry.
Lentils are a wonderful addition to any pantry at home. If you’re trying to build muscle, you may want to include these lentils in your diet because they’re a good source of protein.
It’s not always the case, however, that lentils can provide these health advantages. Flatulence and constipation have been linked to consuming excessive amounts of fiber from the lentil. People with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome may have difficulty digesting the FODMAPs, which are fermentable carbohydrates.
You should also be aware of the processed and preserved lentils you buy at the grocery store. When possible, opt for locally sourced foods or those that have been grown in your greenhouses.
Can You Eat Lentils Raw?
The answer is no, you cannot consume these lentils uncooked, and they must be cooked.
Lentils, unlike many other crops, should not be eaten raw, unlike many other crops. However, unless they’ve sprouted, lentils are not typically eaten uncooked, even though they’re classified as legumes like beans.
Soups, salads, and vegetable stir-fries will all benefit from adding lentils, which have an incredible nutritional profile, to the mix.
To begin cooking the lentils, you may want to rinse them off to remove any dirt or other debris that may be on them. You can also soak them for seven hours in water before sprouting them.
Additionally, the sprouting process of the lentil is a fascinating one to see. The cooking time has been estimated at two to three days, but you won’t have to soak the lentils first. To achieve the desired tenderness, you need boil these for around 30 minutes, according to this manner.
Do Lentils Make You Gain Weight?
Some people are more concerned with the health benefits of lentils than they are about how they are collected. People who are trying to get in shape or lose weight are always looking for new foods and supplements to try.
It’s the complete opposite this time around. Lentils are a good source of calories that can help people gain weight if they are trying to do so.
Lentils are thought to be a guilt-free addition to any weight loss plan. They are popular because of their high protein and fiber content. Fiber-rich foods may take longer to chew, giving the body and anatomy more time to be ready for lentil digestion before eating them. You are less inclined to overeat in these situations.
Krostrade.com And Lentils
Krostrade.com offers a variety of possibilities for those who want to build a greenhouse of their own. These greenhouses are essential in order to provide your plantation with the proper habitat and climate. Commercial greenhouses, hobby greenhouses, miniature greenhouses, and more are all available.
“You may lengthen the growing season by using little greenhouses. It shields your seedling from temperatures that can fall below -2 deg. C overnight, protecting it from the fluctuating conditions of the environment. According to Krostrade’s official website, “the greenhouse conserves heat, keeps soil hydrated, and protects your plants.”
In terms of gardening, lentil harvesting is one of the simplest procedures and processes. It’s possible to have things done at home, but some individuals prefer to drive to the countryside to do so. Many varieties of lentils can be grown in Krostrade greenhouses, giving you a wide range of options for your nutrition, well-being, and health.