Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Colza season

The colza fields are blooming. Colza is the French term for canola (rape) grown for it seeds which are processed into cooking oil. Canoloa is the acronym for CANadian Oil Low Acid. "Rape" is obviously not a good marketing name for these vegetable oils.

A field of flowering colza brightens an overcast day in the Vienne Valley near Chinon.

Every spring, all around us, fields turn a vibrant yellow as the colza comes into flower. Soon the flowers will fade as they set seed. Later, after the plants and seeds dry out, the harvesters will ply the fields to collect their prize. We use colza frequently in the kitchen, along with sunflower (also grown locally), olive, and peanut oils.

Rape is a member of the cabbage/mustard family. The yellow flowers are certainly similar to mustard and remind me of the mustard fields we used to see in California's Napa Valley.


  1. Ha! You've stolen a march on me and preempted my post for tomorrow :-)

    I got some little plants in just before the rain, so that's good too.

  2. So pretty and peaceful.
    But I keep expecting Laura Ingalls to be running down that hill.
    Hope you've been well.
    Your Friend, m.

  3. I'm sitting at my desk and outside the window the rape is glowing gloriously on this grey day. Sadly it's the most horrible crop when it ages - looks nasty & smells worse!

  4. The colza field I can see from my study window is the only cheerful bit of color on a gloomy day like today.

  5. Loved seeing Colza fields the time we visited in April. Glad you got your chores done. We've had some rainy days here in Alabama also.

  6. Even though I grew up in the country, I've never seen fields of colza or asparagus.

  7. Walt,

    Are these fields buzzing with honey bees? They're all over my thyme and lavender when they come into bloom.


  8. I happened upon your post while researching the name of this flower. These fields are all around me and I never knew what they were called! Thanks :)


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