Pearl Barley as a Garden Plant
*Pearl barley will not sprout, the following information involves barley with the hull on* Barley can be planted in either early spring, once the soil is manageable, or in the fall for a spring harvest in warmer climates. Barley seed takes 90 days to mature from planting to harvest. Planting barley in areas that are not overly exposed will help protect it from wind that may damage the barley and result in reduced crop production. Direct seed barley for best results.
Barley is ready to harvest once the seeds are visible and have turned brown and heavy. Protect your hands and arms from the rough awls by wearing long sleeves and gloves. Barley is quite a hardy plant and can be easily grown in most regions.
Pearl barley can be used in soups, risottos, or salads. Pearl barley can be used as a rice substitute in a stir fry or rice bowls, cooking with barley offers an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen. Pearl barley may be used in place of oats for a sweet or savory filling breakfast porridge.
Traditionally, pearl barley is used in the classic Italian dish, orzotto, and the Jewish dish, Cholent. It is also a popular ingredient in many stews in Eastern Europe. Barley water is also a popular and refreshing drink frequently consumed in Greece, Asia, and England.
- Soups and stews
- Breakfast foods
- Barley water
Barley was one of the first grains grown in the Middle East, around 8,000 B.C., and is present in many traditional Arabic, Persian, Kurdish, and Turkish dishes. Barley was the primary ingredient of bread for the Hebrews, Greeks, Romans and many Europeans in the 1500s. During Ramadan, barley soup is consumed in Saudi Arabia.
Barley is also consumed in Africa and it provides the opportunity to improve nutrition, increase food security, and support sustainable development in rural areas.
Barley is high in the amino acid lysine. Barley is also high in complex carbohydrates, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Even though pearl barley has the fibrous bran removed, it is still high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber found in barley, may help lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar.