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

Looking Forward
Looking Forward

by Josiah Meldrum January 01, 2021

2020 was a difficult year in many ways and for many people. At the Bean Store we struggled with long hours, uncertainty and anxiety. But we were also incredibly lucky. We continued to trade and had our health where others were less fortunate, and we had time to reflect, re-group and make new plans. We’re really looking forward to 2021.

Read More

There is No Silver Bullet
There is No Silver Bullet

by Josiah Meldrum October 11, 2020

This evening, along with Henry our chickpea grower, we’ll be featured on BBC Countryfile. It’s a harvest episode and the section we’re in sees Adam reflecting on a poor oil seed rape (OSR) harvest then traveling out to find alternatives.⁣ Who knows quite how it’ll come out in the edit, but our aim was to explain that there is no alternative. No single crop that can be dropped into a rotation to solve the problems that come with a reductive, commodity focused system of supply.

Read More

Milling Offal - let’s eat more of it!
Milling Offal - let’s eat more of it!

by Josiah Meldrum August 31, 2020

We only sell stoneground whole grain flours, these are made by milling the whole cereal seed and not sifting the flour. We do this because we know that wholegrain flours taste better and are better for us. But we've started selling bran and semolina, the by-products of white flour production - Josiah explains why.

Read More