Monday, May 28, 2007

History of Avena Sativa

Food History
Oats didn’t come important to human being as early s wheat or barley. Perhaps the oldest oats grain was found in Egypt among remains of the 12th Dynasty, which was about 2000BC. The oldest known cultivated oats were found in cave in Switzerland that are believed belong to Bronze Age.

They were the last of the major cereal grains to be domesticated, around 3,000 years ago in Europe, Greeks and Romans considered oats to be nothing more than a diseased version of wheat.

Oats were a lowly horse food for the Romans, who scoffed at the "oat-eating barbarians", or those pesky Germanic tribes who eventually toppled the West Roman Empire.

The history of oats is somewhat clouded because there are so many different species and subspecies, which makes identification of old remains very difficult. The chief modern center of greatest variety of form is in Asia Minor.

Oats were first brought to North America with other grains in 1602 and planted on the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts. As early as 1786, George Washington sowed 580 acres to oats.

By the 1860s and 1870s, the westward shift of oat acreage in the United States had moved into the middle and upper Mississippi Valley, which is its major area of production today.
History of Avena Sativa