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annuals for oil seeds  RSS feed

 
Thekla McDaniels
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I wonder what annuals to plant to get oil, what are any of you growing? I can guess sunflowers, maybe mustard or some other oily seeded brassica, but that can't be all!
 
r ranson
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I've seen people mention brasica when talking about oil seed crop. I was wondering if kale seed might also work.

I know almost nothing about oil crops, so I'm excited to learn what people have to say about them
 
Judith Browning
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Peanuts! I'm not growing them now though
 
Rebecca Norman
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The oilseed that is traditional here in Ladakh, and probably all of North india, is mustard. Many people still grow it for oil here. Before cooking, the oil has to be heated up and the acrid principle evaporated off. I'm sorry to say I'm not sure how the traditional oil extraction method was before machines, but now people take it to expresser mills in town.
 
Larisa Walk
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Camelina is the best for us northerners, and also one of the best oils health-wise too. You can read more here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelina_sativa.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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wow, I just read the camelina oil page the link took me to. I never heard of it, and it is already being tried as aviation fuel, and food the same time. Now that's versatile!
 
David Livingston
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I still hope to try tiger nuts if I can ever find any
 
Larisa Walk
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We've been using camelina oil for the past few years that we buy from http://www.omegamaidenoils.com/. We really like it. Another plus is that it keeps extremely well since it's so high in vitamin E, which is a natural preservative. We have grown a bit of it here but don't have enough room for an oil crop, nor the press. We like supporting a local, Minnesota farm for something that we buy.
 
Casie Becker
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I keep thinking about trying sesame seeds. I know there's been at least some study done into growing it as major crop in this area.

Peanuts are on my list to try in summer 2017. All my garden beds are already spoken for this year.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I think sesame seeds must be pretty easy to grow. When a woman I know was in the peace corps in senegal, west africa, she grew a lot of them in her garden. They were a beautiful flower and made a lot of seeds. The ground was nothing special, and she had to carry water from the well to water them.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I grew sesame seeds last summer. I harvested less seed than went into the ground. But I harvested something, so I will try again.

Many of the plants spontaneously died just before flowering. I couldn't discern why. What did produce seeds were way too long season for my garden.

Perhaps some years from now, I will be able to grow sesame successfully.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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You know how to do it! You'll grow the seeds from the last years harvest right? Keep on doing that a few years, like you did with the okra?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:You'll grow the seeds from the last years harvest right? Keep on doing that a few years, like you did with the okra?


That's the plan. I have about 25 seeds to play around with. The seeds are smaller than what I planted, which is OK if some of them are viable, and live long enough to reproduce. As is typical when I try to adapt new species to my garden, one plant produced more seeds than the rest of the patch combined. I also expect to trial a couple of new varieties. If nothing else, last year's attempt showed that there may be some possibility of growing sesame here eventually.

Sesame seeds grown in my garden.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:It would be super easy for me to grow, harvest, and eat 1/3 cup of hull-less pumpkin seeds. Even to grow enough to eat that much every day of the year.


As a follow up... This summer I grew Lady Godiva pumpkin seeds. It took me a couple hours to harvest 3 (dried) quarts of seed. Took about another hour to clean it. Nice thing about this variety, is that the seeds don't have a shell on them, so they are easy to process and to eat.




pumpkin-seeds-lady-godiva.jpg
[Thumbnail for pumpkin-seeds-lady-godiva.jpg]
Hull-less pumkin seeds.
squash-lady-godiva.jpg
[Thumbnail for squash-lady-godiva.jpg]
Lady Godiva pumpkins: naked seeds.
 
nancy sutton
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Another oil plant was mentioned by Steve Solomon, who wrote about 'miscellaneous vegetable and field crops' in the last chapter of his original 'Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades', 1989. One of those was poppies, used as a cover crop, with easily rotting deep tap roots and easily hoed top growth and as an oil crop:

".... As a grain crop, the seed yields approx 1500 pounds per acre from infertile, unirrigated soils. The seed is easily hand-harvested and like sunflower, contains about 50 % delicious vegetable oil easily extracted by hand pressing. The seed can be soaked overnight and then ground in a blender to make natural, spicy-tasting "mayonnaise salad dressing." As an oilseed it has no equal for adaptation to a climate that invites overwintering of other staple food crops. The sunflower is much lower-yielding when grown without irrigation, difficult to protect from birds, and requires painstaking shelling before oil can be extracted; species like sesame and safflower don't adjust to our lack of summer heat; rapeseed oil (canola) doesn't lend itself to hand extraction with homestead technology, and rape requires high levels of soil fertility...." and he goes on to discuss the possible legal ramifications, how to plant and harvest for green manure and oil seed use.

(Looked but didn't find this information in later editions of his book..)
 
stephen lowe
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I have successfully grown sunflower and pressed the oil out of them. the key is to get an oilseed variety, it has a thin shell that doesn't require hulling and is also bred to ripen with a downward facing flower head to make it hard for birds to get at it. I am also trialing some naked seeded pumpkins to press for oil this year as well. I left some seeds in the care of a friend and had terrible germination so then direct seeded most, the direct seeding is going terrible, the few that were started in the greenhouse are absolutely massive plants so I would recommend going with the early starting for sure there. The sunflowers are all direct seeded and they are doing alright, definitely seeing areas where the soil is poor producing poor sunflowers. However the oil seed variety that I have is only supposed to get 5 or 6 feet tall so I'm pretty happy when some of them are already 3 plus.  I am also experimenting with peanut this year as the final part of my oil seed 3 sisters dream, but it is not going well. I live in far far northern coastal California and the peanuts seem to want a lot more heat. I'm not optimistic that I will yield anything as they don't seem to be growing at all and I don't think that the peanuts will be able to survive in our wet wet soil come September. We shall see
 
Angelika Maier
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so were do I get oil varieties (and I can't import the seeds to Australia).... The trick with the downwards hanging flower sounds good, but parrots are moreintelligent than the average bird I wounder weather this works. They might simply rip the whole flower apart and eat from the dirt.
 
stephen lowe
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Angelika, you raise the biggest question. I emailed several companies about oil seed sunflowers and received replies asking how many acres I would be planting. I ended up finding a neat little company that does permaculture work in my area who do a lot of staple food seed storing. I would think your best bet would be to search for 'oil seed sunflower' in all of the seed companies that you use for veggie seeds. The other thing that I've heard is that people will buy 'bird seed' sunflowers and those are the same variety as the oil seed.  I have zero experience in Australia and zero experience with parrots but we have crows that are smarter than most people and they weren't able to do any damage to my last crop so there is hope. Best of luck in your search.
 
Angelika Maier
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Then parrots are double as smart as most of us. They know exactly that if I throw a stone I miss. But they fly away when my partner comes.
Are oilseed sunflowers the black ones and the other ones striped??
You get the black ones at the produce store in 25 kg bags (you could feed them to your chicken)
 
stephen lowe
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Those are the ones. They are very small and almost all black if not all black. Check the ones at your bulk bin and see how thin the shell is, as far as I understand it the biggest trait that makes a variety 'oil seed' is that it is 'hulless' or 'naked' so that you can just run the whole thing through your press. I would definitely experiment with the bulk ones you are talking about though, they sound like the right kind and for an experimental patch you really don't need more than a few ounces. In my estimate about 10 pounds (4 kilos) will plant an acre pretty densely. Most of the info says far less but I like to plant things very dense. And any thinnings from these little guys are delicious sunflower sprouts for animals of all stripes. Good luck, I'd love to hear your experience. Mine are just prepping to flower as we speak so I'll try to put some yield info up for everyone in a couple of months.
 
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