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Harvest seed heads: Once barley seed spikes have dried and turned brown, remove them from the plant.
Dry: Allow spikes to dry on a plate in a cool, dry location for several days.
Extract Seeds: Run your hand up spikes to remove seeds from stem. There will be a significant amount of chaff, which doesn't need to be separated. Rye can be sown with chaff mixed in.
Dry once more: Allow separated seeds to dry for a few more days.
Label and Store: Once seeds are completely dry, place in a container and store in a cool, dry place. Properly stored rye seed should remain viable for 2 years.
Rye is self-pollinated, but will cross with other varieties. If you are planning of saving seed, grow blocks of 500 plants to ensure sufficient genetic diversity. Save seed from your best 100 seed spikes. An isolation distance of 80-150 feet is recommended.
Sources: http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/guidetogrowingrye.html ; http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/grains-growing-guide
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