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Oat Tops, Milky Oats

Avena sativa

Garden Care

An easy to grow herbaceous annual.  I often companion plant oats with red clover or Ashwagandha.  Medium water and full sun.  Plant the seed a few inches apart and ¼ deep.  I cover with Agribon 19 to help retain moisture for germination.  I remove the Agrigon after the seedlings are about 3 inches tall.  If you have quail, you may want to leave it on top longer. 

Harvest & Parts Used

Both the Milky Oat seed and leaves are used for medicine.  However, I prefer the seed head and after harvest, use the grass/leaf as a chop and drop mulch.  Once I have determined the seed is ready (check out the video to see when the time is right) with my fingers I grab the seed heads and gently pull them off the stem.  It is strangely satisfying and an easy harvest that goes quickly with a bountiful collection of milky seeds when I am finished.

Drying & Storage

A significant amount my harvest is used for a fresh herb tincture.  That seed is processed immediately, or store in refrigerator for not more than a day or two.  The rest I spread in a thin layer on a tray and dry it low and slow at 95-100 F for about 48-72 hours.  Make sure it is dry before you pack in plastic containers or it will mold.  Long-term, put it in a cool, dark, dry location for up to 3 years. 

Medicine Making

As mentioned above I make a lot of fresh milky oat tincture.  It is great as a daily tonic to treat anxiety and depression.  Dry I use it in my Chillax Tea and Bone Broth Mix.  It has mild flavor and is a great bulking agent for the herb blends, with the added anti-anxiety herbal action. 

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