Avena strigosa Pilcorn, or Pillas is a small naked oat that was grown in Britain until the 19th century and in Ireland until the 1930s, when it went out of favour. Harri Grendall has retrieved it from seed banks and is trying to revive this ancient grain while researching it for her Phd.
Pillas was particularly popular in the south west where it was often the final crop in a rotation as it is undemanding, and can produce in less than optimum conditions.
It can be made into a special porridge known as ‘gerty-milk’ - made by malting the grain, then drying and grinding it before cooking it slowly with milk.
Harriet gave me 200 of the precious seeds she grew out from the tiny seedbank packets in 2022, and now I am able to pass them on.
Average Grower pack : 200 seeds per packet.
Average Gardener pack : 2000 seeds per packet.