As I some years ago started growing graypeas (oldfashioned fieldpeas) I soon started to wish growing them together with barley or oat. I remember this kind of fields from the homesteads around where I grew up, back when others enjoyed the sixties in other ways 😉
Asking around, I was kindly informed, that this co-growing was harvested green for fodder, not for human consumption. But I still cling to the dream of this co-growing.
I want the barley to be naked, so I can cook and eat it straight forward. Ordinary barley is for malting and brewing, unless you have special equipment.
The varieties of graypea and naked barley must support each other in one way or the other, to compensate for the competition. Naked barley supports the peas by their straight straw, graypea fix nitrogen and share it with the barley. Last year I mixed graypea Lollandske Rosiner and naked barley Hora. The high number of tendrils in Lollandske Rosiner was almost strangulating the barley, being too short for a fair competition. It was OK, but with room for improvement.
This year I have mixed graypea Errindlev Ært with naked barley Hora, and it seems to be a perfect match. Spikes of barley raise well above the graypeas. The gentle tendrils doesn’t strangle the barley, and the leaves suppress weeds in the bottom.
For graypea Lollandske Rosiner I try to find another naked barley variety. This year I’ll try Gängel, a swedish variety, said to grow tall.
Naked barley is one of the good flavours that for some generations has been neglected. It’s a pity, as naked barley boiled and added a lump of butter has a heavenly taste, similar to sweet corn (much more demanding to grow in cool Scandinavia)
Ps. My “field” is just 1 m2