As well as the YQ “population wheat” developed at Wakelyns we are have also been part of a wider plant breeding experiment involving what some people call “heritage wheats”, but others call “agroecological”, “alternative”, “diverse” or “non-commodity” wheats. Read all about them here!
These trials are part of a participatory plant breeding effort begun by Fred (Gothelney Farm) & Colin (Inchindown Farm) in 2018. A bulk request for 8000 different lines was made to the US genebank.
He has been working our way through these since 2018, taking forward those suitable for agroecological/organic farming systems.
The alpha-numerical codes in the list below represent the most exciting lines emerging from this work, but we included some heritage lines & other examples of cross-composite populations like YQ for comparison & to capture as much diversity as possible.
What became abundantly clear was the importance of viewing the diversity in different parts of the country, hence our delight in 2022 at having an alley dedicated to this process at Wakelyns, home of YQ wheat and one of the spiritual homes to the whole movement.
In the Wakelyns alleys in 2022 we had 1.2 meter plots of each of the following:
- Hen Gymru
- Holdfasst X ODBRC + Holdfst X Hen Gymru
- Millers Choice
- Oak Farm Pop
- Orange Devon Blue Rough Chaff
- Red Chaffed Yeoman
- Red Lammas
- The Miller
- YGA Blondeau
- YQ (control!)
- Megamix (for hand selections)
The next step in the participatory breeding work is to understand how these exciting lines translate into flavour, functionality & nutrition. We look forward to the journey Henrietta takes with these wheats at the Wakelyns Bakery.
Our intention is to take forward those lines that meet both farmer & baker requirements, cross them along the lines of the YQ, and build a new cross-composite population wheat that can be shared far and wide, liberating old and new hands alike to grow, bake and participate in a better grain system.