Sunday, March 5, 2017

History of oats cultivation

Oats were one of the first cereals cultivated by man. They were to be found growing in ancient China as long ago as 7000 BC while the Greeks are believed to be the first to make porridge from oats.

The earliest mention of oats in China is in an historical work on the period 618 to 907 AD; it refers to the a variety known to botanists as Avena sativa nuda.

However, it was the Romans who not only introduced oats to other countries in Western Europe, but also gave them and other cultivated crops the name cereals, after the Roman goddess of agriculture: Ceres.
The ancient Greeks knew the genus well; they called it bromos, as the Latins called it Avena; but these names were commonly applied to species which are not cultivated and which are weeds mixed with cereals.

Pliny is speaking of the cultivated oat when he says that barley ‘degenerates into oats, in a such a way that the oat itself counts as a kind of corn, in as much as the races of Germany grow crops of it and live entirely on oatmeal porridge.He gives the planting time for oats, but Romans used oats only as cattle fodder.

Oats were first planted in the United States on Cuttyhunk, an island off the Massachusetts coasts, in 1602.

Today there are many varieties of oats which have evolved from the original Asian wild grass (Avena Fatua). The best quality oats grow where there is light fertile soil, where the climate is temperate and there is a rainfall of over 60cm (24") a year.
History of oats cultivation

The Most Popular Posts