Barnhouse Oat SinaBa

Barnhouse’s SinaBa oats receive German national listing as plant variety

The world’s first spelt oats from purely organic breeding will grow on the Barnhouse three-use fields in the future.

Our commitment to seed has been a success: at the end of December 2017, the ‘Barnhouse oat’, the world’s first spelt oat from purely organic breeding, received official approval from the German Federal Plant Variety Office.

These oats are a variety from the Dottenfelderhof organic farm, located in Bad Vilbel, Germany, which carries out research in organic farming in its affiliated cultivation school based on biological dynamics. The co-initiator was the Barnhouse partner farmer Sepp Braun, a visionary of organic farming who has been selecting oats himself for years. Dr. rer. nat. Ben Schmehe, an oat specialist from Dottenfelderhof, then completed this important pioneering work. Barnhouse supported the breeding process with €45,000 until its listing. The ‘Barnhouse oat’ bears the name SinaBa, a blend of the company name and that of its founder, Sina Nagl, and will soon be giving the Krunchys that extra special touch.

SinaBa

Until now, the seeds of all organically grown spelt oat varieties came from conventional breeding.

There was no variety in existence that had been organically bred right from the beginning. And yet it is so important to breed the oats under conditions resembling those of the subsequent cultivation. In organic breeding, work is therefore carried out on ecological land from the outset, and selection is made under organic conditions. With conventional organic seeds, often only the final stage of cultivation is carried out under ecological conditions. With SinaBa spelt oats, however, this is the case straight from the beginning.

The SinaBa oats blend seamlessly into our organic farming activities: in the future, these oats are also to be grown in the ‘Barnhouse three-use fields’ of our regional partner farmers – a cultivation method that brings together ecological and economic benefits. Here, camelina, an ancient crop and soil improver, and oats are sown together. For good oat yield, the field now offers important sustenance to wild bees through the blossoming camelina. Camelina is referred to as a ‘cavalier plant’: although it springs up before the oats (conveniently displacing ‘weeds’), it later cedes them the way upwards to the light. In addition, the harvested camelina seeds are packed with valuable protein and oil.

At Barnhouse we are thinking a step ahead. “Together with our partner farmers, we wish to further develop the cultivation of cereals step by step and, for example, make it more insect-friendly”, explains Sina Nagl. “Our action plan for the next measures is already in the making.”