Jet Barley


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Hordeum vulgare subsp. vulgare POACEAE

Jet Barley  (72 days to 84 days)

3 gram packet contains about 25 seeds

Sustainably Grown


Originated in Ethiopia.  Protein level 16.31  (That is huge!  Most wheats only obtain 12-13% protein and many corn varieties les than that!)

Spring planted, hulless, 2 rowed barley.  Logged at the USDA seed bank in 1920.  Selected from a Landrace  that  was a six-row hulless white and black seeded variety.  

Jet Barley performs extremely well here with little or no water in the spring.  This variety is known to have excellent smut resistance.  In fact, because I go through every plant to grade it during harvest (selecting for # of stools and size...at least till I'm happy with the seed line) I touched probably over 5,000 plants easy.  Out of that, only 8 had any signs of smut.    

Of the two years I've grown it I've had problems with lodging (falling over) both times, but perhaps the soil was too rich. This year there seems to be no problem and the soil was pretty nutrient poor.  The lesson with grains is to find the happy medium when adding organic fertilizer or better yet grow a fava crop prior to planting.  Too much fertilizer and you will get lodging.  Too little and you will not get proper development. 

Jet Barley has a rich nutty flavor and we frequently use it in soups.  When I have more this year I will play with different styles of baked goods.  Two-row barley is traditionally used in English ale style beers.  Excellent for livestock once threshed unless of course you are feeding to chickens.  In that case we throw the whole shock to them.  Barley straw is even used as an algicide in ponds and lakes.  We also use the straw in animal bedding and later in the compost pile, adding to our wonderful organics.

Drought tolerant and also tolerant of saline soils.  This is a huge advantage, as water shortages and changing weather patterns continue to reshape the way we try to grow food. 

Spring planted.  Needs cool weather, but cannot withstand hard freezes. 

Yield  This year (2010) we got 1 pound per 23 sq ft or about 2,100#s  per acre. 

Part of Sustainable Seed Company's Grain Restoration Project

Sample Sizes Only.   You will receive 50 seeds/3 grams.  Please don’t ask for larger quantities because we do not have them. The idea is for as many people as possible to get started and grow your own reestablishing genetic diversity.  This allows many people to get samples instead of just a few and hopefully will preserve this cultivar. 

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