We have been lucky to harvest many wild growing herbs (violets, dandelions, plantain, yarrow… ) on our land this spring, but I was especially excited to harvest our first cultivated crop of oats at La Placita Gardens, the new community garden located at the historic Sanchez Farm where we have a plot for Sunstone Herbs. We seeded the oats back in March when the soil still held moisture from the winter snows and rains. They grew wonderfully without irrigation, thanks to a few timely rains and a few accidental flood irrigations from the acequia. We harvested the oats in the milky stage (that is when the oat seed has formed but has not hardened off, and when you press the seed it exudes a milky substance), taking the tops and the “straw.”
The oats were vibrantly green and beautiful with no issues of too much rain interfering with the harvest as often happened in New York where it always seemed to pour the day the oats were ripe for picking.
We made a pretty green tincture of the milky oats, and dried the remaining oats and oat straw for tea. Unfortunately this year we will not have any of this dried oat straw for sale as we grew a smaller trial plot to understand how the oats would grow here. Well they grow beautifully, so you can be sure that next year we will plant a large area to oats to make this nourishing herb available to you. – Jen