A Field of Naked Barley

A Field of Naked Barley

by Josiah Meldrum June 05, 2015 1 Comment

We're very excited to be working with East Anglia Food Link and a small group of farmers to revive British production of naked barley, a remarkable crop. We hope to have small quantities for milling and for sale as a whole grain this autumn. We now offer a range of naked barley products - wholegrain, flakes and fermented.

Naked Barley growing in an Essex field
William has been out and about looking at the various crops being grown for us this year. Yesterday he popped down to Essex to visit Peter Fairs (who also grows our quinoa) so see how the Naked Barley field trial was looking. And it looks amazing!

So what is naked barley?

The grains of more usual barley have an indigestible husk (the outer parts of the barley flower) that can only be removed by polishing to produce pearl barley. This process removes a lot of the goodness from the grain.

In naked barley the husk is not stuck to the grain, making is less energy intensive to process for human consumption and nutritionally much more exciting too. For these reasons naked barley was a popular crop among Bronze and Iron Age farmers.

Today naked barley is rarely grown. Barley of all types has been almost entirely replaced by wheat as the main ingredient in bread and hulled barley is better for brewing, the main modern use for barley.

But barley, especially naked barley, is a fantastic crop! It requires half as much water per tonne as wheat and needs far less fertiliser. It's high in complex carbohydrates, especially beta-glucan - a soluble fibre that has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol. Naked barley has a low glycaemic index (GI) and is high in flavanoids. Plus it tastes great and can be used as a rice substitute, as a flour in baking, or flaked in breakfast cereals.

Hodmedod is working with East Anglia Food Link and a group of organic and conventional farmers to revive this remarkable crop. We hope to have a few tonnes available for milling into flour and for sale as a whole grain this autumn.

Please do get in touch if you'd like to know more.




Josiah Meldrum
Josiah Meldrum

Author



1 Response

Glen Steelw
Glen Steelw

March 24, 2016

sound good guys hope to get some in the autumn.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Hodmeblog

A Grain Community
A Grain Community

by Josiah Meldrum June 04, 2021

Read More

Norfolk Chickpeas in a Changing Climate
Norfolk Chickpeas in a Changing Climate

by Josiah Meldrum May 26, 2021

Last year (field scale chickpea production year 2) was a real struggle: drought through much of the season, intense heat in late May, then extraordinary rainfall in August. This year (chickpea year 3) hasn’t started much better to be honest: a cold start and prolonged wet conditions are not what chickpeas like.

Read More

Organic Marrowfat Peas at Little Bytham
Organic Marrowfat Peas at Little Bytham

by Josiah Meldrum May 10, 2021

The new 2021 crop of organic marrowfat peas are coming through beautifully at The Grange, farmed by Guy and John Turner of Turners of Bytham. The cool wet weather in early May hasn’t provided the easiest start to the year for peas, but the marrowfats are looking excellent.

Read More