Does anyone know what would happen to winter oats if I planted them now? I'm having an awful time trying to find just Spring Oats - the only thing I can find is horse feed which is a mix of Spring and Winter oats.
This would be a great question for some old-timers in your neck of the woods, do you know of any old farmers hang outs
posted 8 years ago
Not many folk know about oats here - well they know of them but that's as far as it goes - because they are seen only as fit for animals. They are horrified or bemused when I say that we humans actually want to eat them!
Here in CT I routinely purchase whole oats--horse feed--and use them as a cover crop. I routinely have good crops to work out. I use two bags, about 100lbs of oats, per acre. I use them as a nurse crop sometimes and use them seeded with clover. They only seem susceptible to certain rusts.
Well I'm gonna give it a go then. If we get no oats then at least the goats or pigs can munch down the crop and we save on feed that way (though obviously not on human feed unless I send the children out to eat grass )
Has anyone tried the variety avena nudans? Alison, on which scale did you grow your oats? And what was the harvest and how do you process them? I think of a succession of potatoes (summer) and oats (winter) and some other crop like dry beans, corn, pumpkin and broad beans.
posted 8 years ago
I believe the oat variety that you have is considered "hulless." I tried those a couple of times with mixed results. The birds in the area rather liked the oats. I was able to get some however. Depending on where you are, oats may be a better early spring crop. Here in CT, which is a zone 6, oats will not winter over and will winterkill (temperatures here are -10 to 0 F during the winter) and they leave a good crop of roots and stems that not only hold the soil but also are easy to work if that is what you want a bit later. I generally use them as a cheap (but effective) cover crop either seeded as a hay crop, or as a green manure crop or as a "nurse crop" with clover. In the first two cases, the seed is broadcast and then worked in (more seed) and in the last case, the seed is worked in with the clover (less seed). After the oats are cut, the clover or other legume(s) will gallop forward. I will typically use a mix of clover and grasses though the choices are about as varied as only your imagination.
posted 8 years ago
philipm1, yes I'd heard that the birds like the hull-less-ness of them too. I have no experience yet of growing them so I don't know to what extent this would be true here. Good to know that you got some at least.
ediblecities, I'll be planting up about half an acre. Processing a non-hulless oat might be tricky as the hull has to come off and isn't as easy as wheat etc. I've been experimenting and wondered if I soaked them a bit, then rolled them through an oat roller, then winnowed them... who knows. My hand-operated oat roller hasn't arrived yet but I've done some VERY small scale squashing of individual seeds with a spoon and the hull the seems to separate enough.
I reckon if I get no crop then the plant itself will still make good pig forage
I'm waiting for a spot of rain as we have dust here at the moment having not had any rain for 7 weeks! Very unusual here at this time of year.
This is my second year growing hulless oats. they are awesome, and if you get them out early enough with mulch cover the birds won't bother them. On the harvest side you just have to pay attention to how ripe the heads are, and honestly Im not an expert but if they arent 100% dry according to commercial standards you can still harvest them and process them. I got a good 10lbs of flour from a small patch 3ft x 8ft.
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