Vegetable seeds are pretty easy to find. We buy most of our seed from nearby Territorial Seed Company, but even if we didn’t have this local resource there are dozens of other sources online and via mailorder. I know the world has lost a lot of heirloom seed varieties during the last 50 years, but individuals and companies have preserved a lot of varieties too. There’s no shortage of seeds.
Unfortunately, the world of small grains is very different. Last year I grew some buckwheat as an experiment, and this year I’m interested in growing barley, field corn, and buckwheat. Let’s take barley. Specifically, I’m interested in varieties of spring two-row malting barley. So far, these are the only sources I’ve found:
- Conlon Barley at $6.25 per 5lbs (plus $4 shipping)
Wow, it looks like I have exactly one choice! When there are at least a dozen two-row varieties available to farmers, why do home gardeners only have one? When my local university has been involved in developing several new varieties, why am I shipping seed in from Maine?
Does anyone know any other sources for small-scale grains? How about tips regarding the secret handshake needed to get access to the many grain varieties mentioned in the extension literature?