Sardinian Barley “S’ orgiu sardu”


sardinian 1This barley is an exciting find! The seed was sent to me from a friend in Italy. He obtained the seed from a friend of his who is a Sardinian Shepherd. S’ orgiu sardu is not a specific variety. It is the name given to a number of ancient landrace varieties from the island of Sardina. Highly adaptable and vigorous. Here is a brief abstract of this barley from a 1996 research paper, published in Genetic Resources and Crop Evaluation. The paper was co-authored by the following researchers;

  • Giovanna Attene Affiliated with Instituto di Agronomia generale e Coltivazioni erbacee, Università degli Studi di Sassari
  • , Salvatore Ceccarelli Affiliated with International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
  • , Roberto Papa

img_8807“Since ancient times, barley has been an important food resource for the people of Sardinia. The oldest traces of its cultivation are from the mid-Neolithic (fourth millennium B.C.).   We describe the traditional process for making barley bread (orgiathu) in Sardinia, where a special starter called ghimisone was prepared. Today, barley is cultivated only as animal feed, with two uses, grain yield and grazing. Many farmers prefer to grow local populations belonging to landrace locally known as “S’ orgiu sardu”. Local Sardinian populations of barley evolved in diverse environments, being cultivated from sea-level up to 1000 m elevation, on various soil types at different intensities of abiotic stresses, and with climates and environments associated with various agricultural practices, depending both on production strategies and climatic conditions. These barley materials are thought to be valuable genetic and cultural inheritance which must be preserved and used for both productive and research purposes.”

Possible premium malting barley! I hope to have more data in the future regarding this variety and it’s malting properties.

Update 2017. I sent a sample of this barley to have it tested for malting properties. The lab stated “We have completed the micro-malting assessment of your Sardinian 2-row barley (see attached). The grain has good malting properties, producing a well modified malt (high friability) with good extract and enzyme levels.  All indications are that the malt would perform well in the brewery.” Here are the two reports:

Sherck Report_January 27

Sherck Seeds Report_July 31

This cultivar performed well in 2015 and this season, even with all the excessive rain we had in the sardinian tiller 2spring and early summer. It exhibited no tendency to lodge and had few problems associated with leaf disease or fusarium. The vigorous plants produced a large number of tillers and had  extensive root systems (it reminded me of quack grass). It reached a height of 34″ and matured in 100 days.

This is a spring planted, 2 row variety with a tight hull. It produces a good yield and is easy to thresh from stalks.

sardinian 2

Sardinian Barley
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110 grams (approx. 150 seed)$3.50
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