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Hulless Oats

“Grows really well on Otago Peninsula”. (Liselle Wood)

See the review for some great info from our seed guardian, Ross Lill.

Volume per packet: 

10

mL

$3.00

Expected viability: 

yrs

Description

“Grows really well on Otago Peninsula”. (Liselle Wood)

See the review for some great info from our seed guardian, Ross Lill.

Additional information

Availability

,

Harvest Year

,

Donor

Reviews

  1. Ross Lill

    Hulless oats #704
    Avena nuda
    Note by guardian Ross Lill, Levin: Oats are a useful source of carbohydrate in our diet and, because they aren’t usually highly refined, provide a range of other dietary benefits. They are a difficult crop for the home gardener for a number of reasons. The yield seems low for the area taken and the effort involved in growing the crop, in part because they can get hammered by disease and birds. But the big problem is dehulling the harvested seed. In normal oats, the hull is tightly wrapped around the seed and needs some sophisticated machinery to dislodge it. For the small producer, this problem seems solved by the hulless oat. It is apparently a separate species from the hulled oat (Avena sativa) and has a long history of cultivation as a food crop in Asia and Europe.
    I eat a lot of meusli so was attracted to the idea of hulless oats and volunteered to rescue the line held by SSE. They sent me 115 seeds from which only five plants grew. Only half of the resultant seed was hulless, but I kept 75 g of the largest hulless seed. The next season, I grew 112 plants and, in January 2018, collected yield, seed size and hullessness data on each plant. This gave a rather stark picture of the huge variability in seed yield and percent hullessness. The seed yield per plant ranged from a bit over one gram to 33 grams. I sorted out the best 11 plants and kept seed from these.
    I spent some time trying to separate out the remaining hulled seed but the best I could do was to float the hulled seed away from the hulless seed in water with a little bit of detergent in it. I grew another crop in the subsequent season, but the low yield per area and the problems with disease and birds lead me to decide against progressing hulless oats as a crop for this home gardener. I have cooked the oats in the same way we cook rice, and they are a rather nice addition to the meusli.
    It is clear that for a crop producing seed for eating, the work of the seed producer is a bit more complicated. You have to produce much more seed to satisfy the kitchen, and the seed has to be more thoroughly cleaned.

    Hulless Oats
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