Mendocino Grain Project

Grains We Grow

We appreciate the diversity of ancient, heirloom, and landrace grains for their beauty, rich nutrients, and biodiversity. This page lists grains and legumes we have grown or will try to grow. Please visit the How to Get the Grains page to see what is currently available. We will continually add information to this page as we continue to research and interact with grains and legumes. Some information about grain-related terminology is described at the bottom of the page. You can find suggestions for how to use some of our grains on our Recipe page.

WheatRyeOatsBarley • Lentils

Wheat

Blue Beard

Triticum turgidum ssp durum
Region of Origin:
Iran

Type:
Spring

Uses:
Whole wheat pasta, bread, wheat weaving

Chiddam Blanc

Triticum aestivum ssp aestivum
Region of Origin:
England, further developed in Ville de Paris, France

Type:
Soft spring

Uses:
Breads, cookies, cakes and pastries, breakfast cereals, salads, whole grain

Durum Iraq

Triticum turgidum ssp durum
Region of Origin:
You guessed it... Iraq

Uses:
Whole wheat pasta, bread, wheat weaving

Ethiopian Blue Tinge

Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccum
Region of Origin:
Ethiopia

Type:
Hard spring

Description:
Type of emmer, one of the ancient grains. A dark purple, grey, brown grain with a light, earthy taste.

Uses:
Dinner grain, whole wheat pasta

Foisy

Triticum aestivum ssp aestivum
Region of Origin:
West Coast USA cultivar

Type:
Soft spring

Uses:
Breads, cookies, cakes and pastries, salads, breakfast cereals, whole grain

India Jamu

Triticum aestivum ssp aestivum
Region of Origin:
Jammu and Kashmir, India

Uses:
Breads, cookies, cakes and pastries, breakfast cereals

Khorasan

Triticum turgidum subsp. turanicum
Region of Origin:
Speculated to be from Fertile Crescent or Egypt

Description:
Popularly known by the trademarked name Kamut; light, slightly sweet flavor

Uses:
Dinner grain, breads, pasta, cereals, pastries, crackers, beer, grain coffee, wheat drink

Marquis


Region of Origin:
Canada

Type:
Hard red

Uses:
Whole wheat bread, crackers, pasta

Red Fife


Region of Origin:
Central or Eastern Europe (possibly Ukraine), through Scotland, and cultivated in Ontario, Canada

Type:
Hard red

Uses:
Whole wheat bread, crackers, pasta

Sonora

Triticum aestivum ssp aestivum
Region of Origin:
Cultivar from landrace in Durango Mexico

Type:
Soft spring

Description:
This soft, fine thing has a history in the American Southwest extending back to 1500. Its light color and soft texture made it a desirable base for tortillas.

Uses:
Tortillas, pasta, salads, whole grain, bread

Rye

Rye

Secale cereale
Description:
Multi-colored from grain to grain, peppery in taste, and a party in your mouth.

Uses:
Bread, crackers, whiskey, beer

Triticale

Triticosecale rimpaui
Description:
A cross between wheat and rye -- the best of both worlds!

Uses:
Bread, whole grain, porridge

Oats

Hulless Oats

Avena nuda
Description:
Soft, sweet, smells like a human baby

Uses:
Cereal, biscuits, sourdough bread, cookies, sprouted and eaten raw, stews

Barley

Bronze


Description:
Plump, pretty, and palatte-pleasing

Uses:
Whole grain, salad

Purple Prairie


Region of Origin:
Tibet

Description:
A royal purple that's a delight to look at. The taste reflects the color: deep, full, and uniquely sweet

Uses:
Bread, whole grain

Tamalpais


Region of Origin:
California

Description:
Sweet and holds together well

Uses:
Soups, pilafs

Lentils

Du Puy or French lentils

Region of Origin: le Puy, France

Description: Smooth texture, spicy flavor

Uses: Soups, cold or warm salads

Green Lentils

Description: Hearty and rich, can be molded into paddies

Uses: chili, soups, veggie burgers, baked casseroles

Pardina

Description: remains firm when cooked

Uses: Soup, salads, stuffing, sprouting

Red Chief | Lens esculenta

Description: They cook in 5 to 10 minutes without soaking. 

Uses: dal, pureed soup, and ready-in-minutes side dishes, pasta sauce

Wheat Details

What's the difference between a winter and spring wheat?

Seasonal labels refer to when the grain was planted. Timing affects the size and strength of the plant, which are important to a farmer. Winter wheats tend to have stronger stalks and smaller heads, while spring wheats likely follow the opposite trend. Spring wheats are less susceptible to diseases, but must be grown where sufficient rainfall is reliable in the early spring.

Bakers might be interested in whether a grain was planted in winter or spring because of the general affect on gluten content. Winter wheats have an average protein content of 10-12% and medium gluten strength. Spring wheat has higher gluten strength because of its greater average protein content of 12-14%.

What's the difference between hard and soft wheat?

Hard wheats tend to have higher protein content and stronger gluten-forming proteins than soft wheats. Thus, hard wheats are better suited for yeasted products and breads with an open, chewy inside. Flour from soft wheat is better for chemically-leavened products like cakes, muffins, biscuits, and cookies – baked goods with fine insides.

Sources

University of California Davis, Wheat Cultivars of California

Whole Grain Connection

Serious Eats