Adding Value to a Scottish Rye Landrace: Collaborative Research into New Artisanal Products
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Blackley, S., McVey, D., Scholten, M. and Veitch, A. (2022) 'Adding Value to a Scottish Rye Landrace: Collaborative Research into New Artisanal Products', in Nishikawa, Y. and Pimbert, M. (eds.) Seeds for Diversity and Inclusion: Agroecology and Endogenous Development. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 137-148.
Hebridean rye (Secale cereale), a high-yield landrace grown by crofters in Scotland’s Highlands and Islands, has traditionally been used as livestock feed. This multi-author study presents and analyses findings into the crop’s potential as the raw material for locally produced flour, bread and beer, offering new opportunities in sustainable seed saving, small-scale agriculture, food production and eco-enterprise. The authors—part of the project’s multidisciplinary team of researchers, artisanal food producers and crofters—explicate aspects of the pioneering project, from conditions on Uist’s coastal machair where the rye originates, to testing seasonal varieties in mainland Lochaber and assessing nutritional qualities and consumer acceptance of novel products. They conclude that Hebridean rye, with its potential for crofters in remote locales and local businesses, could help in preserving agrobiodiversity, traditional knolwedge and practices, crofting culture and economic resilience in the north and north-west of Scotland.