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The UNCLE TOBYS Team works in collaboration with local Australian farmers to ensure that only the best quality oats reach your table. At the moment, UNCLE TOBYS farmers are growing the Mitika oat, developed by the National Oat Breeding Program at the South Australian Research Development Institute (SARDI). The Mitika oat has a superior taste while surviving tough Australian conditions, including protracted drought and wet weather.
Our Team visit local oats farmers at least three times a year, during sowing, growing and harvesting stages. They monitor crop development and ensure that UNCLE TOBYS standards are adhered to. After eight to nine months of growing, UNCLE TOBYS oats are naturally dried on the stem and ready for harvesting.
To produce UNCLE TOBYS oats take time, the paddocks are prepared for sowing from late February into March and April which including ploughing, controlling weeds, and preparing the soil. Then the oats are sown in April, at the same time as the soil is fertilised. During the growing season, the oats require regular rainfall and sunshine to fully develop. UNCLE TOBYS standards require that the Farmers harvest when the grain is plump and golden, and moisture levels are at the right level, which usually occurs late October and November. Oats have their grain heads removed by a combine harvester, which separates the grain from the chaff. Then the oat grains are loaded into trucks for delivery and storage.
The oats are then, stored in silos around the Riverina and Murray regions. There are very strict standards for UNCLE TOBYS oats so when they are delivered to the silos they are tested to ensure they are plump and golden ready to create a great porridge or rolled oats.
The oats are tipped into a pit and then elevated in the silos so that they’re aerated. Aeration preserves the quality of stored oats by keeping an even and cool temperature within the silos. It’s invaluable for safeguarding oat quality and protecting from infestation. Moisture levels need to be monitored to keep under the accepted level that we require for an UNCLE TOBYS Oat.
Once received at the UNCLE TOBYS factory in Wahgunyah, Victoria, there is minimal processing to create UNCLE TOBYS Oats. It takes only a few steps to create the perfect UNCLE TOBYS Oats.
The oats are dehulled, cleaned and then kilned, which is purging them with steam. They are then rolled into a flake and finally they are packaged, ready to make perfect porridge or for beautiful baking. We also add our rolled Oat flakes to a lot of our other UNCLE TOBYS products such as our Muesli bars or Oat cereals such as O&G and Oat Crisp. For our Quick oats and quick sachets, we cut the oats finer then roll them thinner, so they cook quicker. Our Steel Cut oats are simply cut with steel blade then packaged.
The UNCLE TOBYS name and logo has significant historical significance, it was designed by Nellie Love, the niece of Clifford Love – the founder of UNCLE TOBYS, who was a keen artist and a student of literature. She suggested the name and designed the logo based on the great literacy character in the “Life of Times of Tristram Shandy” by Laurence Sterne, first published in 1759. In the book Uncle Toby is a gentle, uncomplicated lover of his fellow man. The original design of Uncle Toby standing with the Widow Wadman has seen little changes over the years, so has become a treasured representation of the UNCLE TOBYS heritage.