Introduction to vegetable oils

Sunflower oil:
Sunflower seed pressing is the easiest to press. It is done with the shell intact without dehulling it. We use a Chinese press that works very well. Cleaning is easy. The meal is used for animal feed but I suspect that the meal is also good as a fertilizer. When I began oil pressing I piled my sunflower meal on a snow bank and was quite surprised to find the pile steaming the next day. The microbes were very busy.

From the internet:Sunflower meal contains a high portion of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and is considered to be an excellent plant nutrient source.

We have grown organic sunflowers for a number of years with varying degrees of success. Most often I get a lot of weeds since the cultivation of the sunflowers only works for a short time before the sunflowers get too tall to cultivate or time does not allow enough time for a thorough cultivation. In 2020 we purchased a no till planter to begin experimenting in planting into crimped rye. It was not very successful on my first try as I planted into a poor stand of rye and the soil fertility was lacking. In 2021 I had a much better trial as the rye grew very well. I crimped the rye with our crimper attached on the rear three point hitch.

Our no till planter has a liquid fertilizer tank and I used a product called aminogro (amino acid) dissolved in water as the liquid fertilizer. I feel this was a success but there were some weeds but muck better than the cultivated sunflower field. I used a walk behind tractor to bush hog the weeds between the rows.

Last year I noticed that when the tractor wheels ran over the rye when crimping it stood back up in a day or so. For 2022 I put a front three point hitch on the tractor so we can crimp on the front 3 point hitch and plant on the rear of the tractor at the same time. Hopefully this years rye will be very strong giving a thick mat of rye to plant the sunflowers in. And again I will run my mower up rows to get any weeds.

The chinese sunflower oil press

Flax oil pressing:

Flax oil is difficult to press on the Chinese press. It takes a lot of patience to use the Chinese press as I feed it with sunflower seeds and flax seeds to get it started. There needs to be lot of heat and oil to ztart the process. Flax seeds easily jam the press if done too quickly without sunflower seeds for lubrication.

Flax oil is much easier to press on the Komet press but much slower. The Komet press uses a heating element on the auger to get the process going and works very well.

Growing Flax for us has been very difficult. Weeds seem to love flax and we have not had the best soil to try it in. I have tried interseeding flax with clovers. It is also suggested to try interseeding with wheat or oats

From the internet:

Flaxseed oil is sensitive to light and heat, so it is best to have it in an opaque or dark glass bottle to protect it from the light and store it in a cool, dark place.

The Komet press

Hemp Oil pressing:

Hemp is a difficult oil to press of any oil press as the oil contains a lot of tiny particles which clog the small outlets for the oil in the chinese press. The Komet press does work well but needs constant unplugging of the small holes in the auger with a small drift. We also use a larger nozzle on the Komet press

Growing hemp also presents problems of weeds. Harvesting is also difficult with the ordinary grain head as the plants tend to grow too tall for the use of a grain head. I have tried clipping the hemp in the early stages and it produces two shoots which are much shorter. I need to work on this idea of cutting the young shoots to limit the height of the hemp.

Komet press

Camelina Oil Pressing:

Camelina is easily pressed and works on any press. All of the camelina pressing is done on the Komet press but could easily be done on the chinese press if there is enough oil volume required.. Camelina does not need refrigeration.

This year 2022 I spread the camelina seed on the snow in late february in the hopes that it will sprout after the very cold days of february. Weeds seem to love camelina but the camelina germinates at zero whereas the weeds germinate at higher temperatujres.

From the interent:

Hemp oil is also known to be highly unstable, despite the presence of different minor antioxidant components such as tocopherol that play a dramatic role in oxidative stability [15]. Hemp seed oil has high content of unsaturated fatty acids which are highly susceptible to oxidation.

Komet press