My knowledge of grain crops is limited. Of the steps involved in growing, harvesting, and processing grains I know very little. But this week I got a glimpse of part of this process. Already I have shared about my combine ride. After the oats were harvested with the combine, they were poured into the container shown below to dry out. The pipe coming out from the oats is presumably a dehumidifier of sorts. Even in dry weather a field of oats is bound to hold moisture. And when much of this field is condensed into a smaller area, this moisture is bound to be more substantial. So before much else happens the oats must be aerated.
I was disappointed to find I could not simply pop this handful of oats into my mouth. Each grain is still covered by a thin shell. Shelling oats by hand, I was able to eat about 3 in a minute. While the sample was hardly enough to taste, I did recognize a characteristic “oatsy” flavor for a brief moment.