Organic Oats Season 327 Aug 2023
Step 1: Preparing the soil
Season 3 of Organic Oats on the farm already and we are delighted to say that this years harvest is fully organic certified so we can finally bring you Kildare Farm Foods Organic Porridge, watch this space for the launch. For now here’s an update on this years planting and harvesting of our 2023 crop.
Before we can plant the seed we must make sure the seed bed (soil seeds are planted into) is suitable. To do this we get the tractors out and repeatedly disk and roll the field until its perfect.
Step 2: Sowing
We sowed in early May, as you can see from the photos it was late evening when we planted. The seeds settled well and we had green shoots within two weeks.
Step 3: Rolling
Once shoots got up a few inches we rolled them. This is done to encourage growth, seems strange to flatten them but it is common practice and works well for us.
Step 4: Growing
The crop grew quickly and well and as you can see in the photo below, its amazing to see it shoot up!
We're Organic! No Spraying - No Chemicals
Our farm is Organic, we produce without the use of Chemical Fertilisers or Pesticides. This is tricky because we are at the mercy of nature. The hope is that by not spraying chemicals we will restore the natural balance of nature on our land. The only thing we add to the soil is sunshine and rain and as you can see below it’s magic.
It has been a very rainy July and in the last week or so we have had an amount of windy weather with it. This can be a problem for oats and all wheat crops as it can cause ‘Lodging’. You can see we have experienced an amount of Lodging ourselves. This is when the oats lie down, a domino effect happens and large sections of the field fall over together. This portion of the crop is damaged and difficult to harvest, Lodging is not the farmers friend but little we can do to stop it.
Step 5: Harvesting
When to harvest is the big question every year. We are trying to balance the quality of the crop with the weather. We measure a sample of the oats before we harvest, sometimes many samples until be get the best result, we are checking moisture content looking for a value of around 17%.
We are also depending on the weather, we need a dry sunny day for the best harvest and ideally a few in a row. We didn’t get too many of these this summer but regardless harvesting began on the 17th of August, between showers.
Step 6: Straw Bailing
When the oats are harvested by the combine harvester it separates the oats from the straw (the stem). The straw is used for animal bedding so we bale it up and store it for use during the year. If the weather has been dry the straw can be bailed immediately, but this July this was not the case. We waited a day or so for it to dry out before bailing. We made square and round bales this year on the Tuesday the 22nd of August, and they are now all stored ready for winter bedding.
A Job Well Done, Oat Harvest 2023 Complete
Another years harvest complete, we had lots of fun and look forward to tasting the organic porridge we produce from the crop.
Book Now to Visit Us, we look forward to welcoming you to the farm.
Looking forward to seeing you
The Kildare Farm Foods Team