But naked oats are not just delicious - naked oats are a disruptive technology. (Take that tech start-ups!)
Here’s why: naked oats are free threshing, which means they fall from the ear when harvested - unlike more usual oats that have to go through a tricky de-hulling process once they leave the field. Because it’s tricky, that processing has become centralised with a few larger businesses dehulling oats for rolling or for whole groats.
Naked oats allow smaller farmers and producers to sell direct, creating shorter, more transparent routes to market.
Though not a new crop it’s proved very difficult to get naked oats onto plates and menus. This is because they’re grown almost exclusively for animal feed (because they’re so nutritious) and getting hold of seed and growing them (legally) is incredibly difficult; big grain trading companies control the supply of seed and generally only release it on buy-back contracts which ensure they maintain control over both seed and harvest.
We’ve been working with naked oats for 5 or 6 years, but it’s only in the last couple, working with Turners of Bytham and with seed support from Cope Seeds that we’ve really made any progress.
From this Autumn we’ll have plentiful supplies of organic naked oats.
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