This fall we planted five acres of a premium winter barley, Limagrain Violetta, the green in the picture at right. We will harvest it in mid-June 2021 and rotate the land with a short summer crop of buckwheat. We will harvest the buckwheat in early September and plant a winter clover, and then a summer buckwheat, a fall barley, and so on.
The advantage to us of winter barley, in addition to its aesthetic and, since it is an annual grass, winter soil protective value, is that we can use our hops processing facility in the spring, when it is otherwise not in use, to dry, malt, dry again, mill, vacuum pack, and store the dry, milled malt to sell in conjunction with our hops. Fresh harvested but unprocessed barley is not a preservable or profitable crop, but fresh harvested, malted, milled, and appropriately packaged barley can be.