We first grew Java wheat in the Spring of 2017, from archived seed received from the USDA germplasm bank. We were very impressed with the fast germination and growth, which is consistent with historical descriptions of this variety. In 2019, the most challenging year we have experienced, Java was the healthiest wheat in our field. In the years since, Java has demonstrated the ability to withstand the extremes of wet, dry, hot, and cold, and still produce a harvest. JB Clark, writing in the beginning of the 20th Century, stated that Java was probably the oldest spring wheat being grown at that time. Java is a bearded wheat, like Turkey, and it bears more than a passing resemblance to Turkey wheat while it is maturing.
The Java berries are small and fairly dark, so it's a surprise that flour from Java is especially light colored. More noticeable is the exceptional fluffy and bulky character of the milled product. Java take up about 10% greater volume in the bag than other spring wheats. We actually have trouble fitting Java into our four-pound bags.
Java protein levels are in line with Marquis and Red Fife, but the dough feels smoother and stretchier. Bread and pizza from Java are light and easy on the teeth. The pasta is sublime. We're very excited about Java and we held back enough seed in 2022 to do a full planting in 2023. If you're lucky enough to purchase some of our small remaining stock of Java, you'll be very happy indeed!