In spring it is very common to stop and admire the spectacle of those immense yellow fields which, in recent years, have returned to being very common throughout our peninsula. It is the flowering of oilseed rape, a plant that has now returned to its ease of cultivation and the innumerable uses to which it is linked.
Rapeseed, Brassica napus, belongs to the Brassicaceae family and is therefore closely related to cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. It is in fact a very vigorous natural hybrid between a turnip and a cauliflower. Depending on the cultivation conditions, it can in fact reach from 60 to 90 cm and, thanks to its very deep roots, is able to withstand drought very well. The very long flowering takes place in the middle of spring: the flowers are composed of 4 opposing petals two by two, as typical for this family.
Their color is a beautiful light yellow. As they wither, seeds begin to develop which is what it is mainly grown for. They are in fact rich in an oil that can be used in the food sector, but which has recently found new uses.
Rapeseed cultivation is simple and is also commonly used on small plots. It is in fact an excellent regenerator for the soil and a part can be used as fodder for animals. Its rusticity is then exploited by sowing it in autumn: by occupying the soil it prevents it from being invaded by weeds.
To get a nice field you must first of all plow and mill finely: the preferred period in our country is from August to October, but you can also proceed at the end of winter. In small plots, the seeds can be scattered broadly, otherwise the process is carried out mechanically. The ideal is to create rows 30 cm wide and space on the row of about 10 cm. The seed should be left fairly superficial, covering it with a maximum of 2 cm of fine earth.