Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Oat Harvest

The oats I planted back in autumn were finally ready for harvest. Last Sunday there was no well-muscled, bare-chested, god-like young man wielding a scythe available (as if!), so a chubby woman in her mid-forties attacked the oat patch with a pair of kitchen snips LOL! Well, it was only a small patch . . .

The result was a couple of boxes full of oat sheaves (as pictured). The oats are hanging upside down for the moment and in a couple of weeks when my exams are over, I'll set about threshing them to extract the grain. Not quite sure how as yet, but it should be good post-exam therapy.

After the harvest, I dug over the patch, putting the residue of the stalks onto the potato patch in the next bed - instant mulch! Interestingly, the roots on the oat stalks were only about 4cm (1.5") long (maximum), so oats are obviously very shallow rooted. The soil in the bed where the oats grew was quite fine and looked somewhat depleted, so I dug in some cow manure.

The patch now has some "seedless" watermelon seeds in it. We saved them from a watermelon we purchased and they were plump and brown, so looked to be fertile. Does anyone know whether these will grow? I thought I'd give them a couple of weeks and if they don't sprout, I'll plant something else there - maybe some other watermelon seeds.

love and light


TheCrone said...

Why have I suddenly been transported by to 'Little house on the prairie' and hearing

"Bringing in the sheaves"


Well done!

Anonymous said...

The oats look great NW! Your watermelon seeds should take off, most still do these days.I would dry them well before planting, although this might not matter, seed from store brought produce is sometimes hit and miss, always worth a try though!


Kel said...

oh for a well muscled, bare chested, scythe weilding man wandering around my garden...oats look good, whatcha gonna do with them?

Em said...

I'm still a bit distracted by the oat harvesting visual, ahem, so my brain isn't ttoally with you - but I think the wayt it works is that "seedless" melon plants are sterile, so when they flower they need another variety to be pollinated. The farmers plant pollinator varieties alongside their "seedless melon" seedlings and then pick the cross-pollinated fruit for us to eat as seedless melons. So if you have any seeds from those, they may germinate and grow into a plant, but it could be any crossbred combination of the parent plants - so it won't be exactly the same as the melon you ate. It might be ok or it might be horrible b/c it's a random recombination of the parent genes. Does that make sense?

The oats look very exciting btw, look forward to hearing about your threshing!

Wendy said...

Your oats look good. I look forward to hearing about your threshing too. How are the bees?

naturewitch said...

Hi Crone
Well it was Sunday, but I didn't see any wagons rolling by . . . xx

Thanks, Molly - we'll see what comes from them. Don't you just love experiments? xx

Hey Kel
If I find one of them there men I'll send him down your way. If they thresh OK, I'm going to grind the oats and eat them. xx

Hi Em
Thanks for the tip. I'll put some other type of watermelon in too, just in case we need a pollinator. If they aren't very nice, I can always use them as a jam melon. xx

Hi Wendy
The bees are going OK, but I'm a little worried as there isn't as much activity as I'd expected. I'm going to get a smoker soon, so I'll open up the hive and check everything is OK with them. They have discovered the lavender in the front garden, though, so I'm hoping they're getting enough food. There's certainly good water sources for them at the moment, so hopefully they are OK. xx

River said...

Hi, I'm River, I'm new here. I may not pop in too often, but I thought I'd give a suggestion about getting the grain from your oats. Hang the stalks grain side down in a calico drawstring bag, then rub the grain between your hands. The grains should separate and be caught in the bottom of the bag. Then you can spread the grains on a shallow tray, such as an oven tray, take it outside and blow (or let the wind blow) away the chaff.Good Luck.

naturewitch said...

Hi River
Welcome! Thanks for the tip. Will definitely try that. xx

Diana said...

I know this is about a year and a half late and you've probably already figured it out, but I just read that for wheat you can put it all in a pillowcase and beat it against a wall. Thought it might work here. :)