Winnowing is the action of separating the grain from the chaff- the inedible covering found on the grain. After flailing the grain the farmer puts the wheat in the winnowing basket. During a breezy day the threshing barn doors are opened. The farmer uses the winnowing basket to toss the grain into the air where the wind sweeps away the chaff.
Threshing is the process used to separate the chaff, the protective covering around the grain, and the kernel of grain used for food, from a plant’s stalk. Farmers used flails to remove the chaff and grain from the stalk and to crack open the chaff.