Saturday, August 04, 2012

Barley or wheat?

L'orge, pronounced [lorzh] is barley. Le blé [luh blay] is wheat. There is a field of grain down in the river valley right below our house. Every year it's cultivated with either barley, wheat, rape (colza), or sunflowers. This year it's barley. Or wheat.

The barley or wheat looks ready for harvesting.

The seed was planted last fall and the crop over-wintered as small green plants. Then this past spring it grew tall and set seed. Now it's brown and ready for harvesting.

A close-up. I'm on the edge of the field so there are some wild flowers among the plants.

France is among the world's top producers of barley, along with Germany, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine. The French use barley as a feed grain for livestock and for making beer. I'll drink to that!

More barley. Or wheat.


  1. More barley...wild carrot and plantain!

  2. I have a suspicion this is wheat - the awms don't look long enough and it could be 4 rows of grain across - more than 2, anyway (might be 6 though, which would make it barley - the hanging heads are also indicative of barley, but whiskery wheat is often heavy enough to do this too in my experience). Very difficult to ID from photos unless you are expert (which I'm not).

    1. susan, I'm sure I don't know! I thought it looked closer to barley from the pictures I looked at, but then there are subtle differences. So I've changed my post. Thanks!

  3. Whatever it is, the fields of it are beautiful when the wind blows. Haven't seen wheat fields much in my life, but when I do I'm usually in France and there will be a poppy somewhere as well.

  4. Bon, c'est plus facile de reconnaître/it's easier to recognize "le blé" (dough)/"l'oseille" (loot), "la fraîche", "le flouze" lol !

  5. Lorsqu'il est mur, le blé se courbe. Mais était il droit ou courbé avant de murir ? Je sais qu'il existe du blé à barbe ou sans barbe, donc ce n'est pas discriminant. Les grains d'orge se différencient bien de ceux du blé. Il existe aussi une autre céréale appelée triticale. En tout cas, je pencherais pour le blé :-).


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