There is an interest amongst bakers and the grain industry in the development of local grain varieties. Specialty grains, such as hulless barley (naked barley), can support local farm viability outside of commodity markets, and provide small-scale bakers and millers with a value-added opportunity as well. Hulless barley has an outer hull loosely attached to the kernel, which generally falls off during harvest, allowing the bran and germ to be retained. Due to this loose hull, hulless barley is a whole grain that requires minimal processing in comparison to barley that has hulls tightly adhered to the seed. In 2019, the University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crops and Soils Program established a field trial of eighteen heirloom hulless barley varieties with seed provided by Sylvia Davatz of Solstice Seeds (Hartland, VT).


Vermont, University of Vermont, spring barley

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