Heritage Largo wheat is aptly named as its awns are extremely largo (long.) A Mexican landrace, Heritage Largo’s plants tolerate extreme heat and water stress, tillering productively. Hailing from Oaxaca’s Mixteca Alta region, this heritage wheat excels as a bread wheat.
Photos and Description courtesy of John Sherck and Scott Hucker
John Sherck, Bristol, IN:
“Largo” means “long.” I have a variety from a gentleman in Mexico who works with a group of farmers who are trying to establish heritage Mexican wheats. Largo is supposedly a 250 year old variety, still being grown by peasant farmers in Oaxaca. Lots of diversity in height and awn color- black, blond, brown. There is a “Largo” wheat in the USDA that was developed in Texas in the 1980’s. I am convinced the Largo I have is an old landrace. I had my friend Kevin Payne, in Taft California grow it out. He is a farmer/chef/baker and he said it was one of the best varieties he has ever grown and baked with. He told me it is very versatile and makes great bread, flat breads and pizza dough. He sent me seed and a few grain ears. It does not match the description of Largo in the USDA one lick. The USDA even states that their modern “Largo” has poor baking properties. Kevin believes could be grown as a winter wheat.
Largo (Long wheat) is a Mexican “landrace” bread wheat. I obtained a small amount of seed from Mexico in 2017 from Genis Siso Penalver. He has started a project to reclaim Oaxacan heritage wheats and plans to produce stone milled flour. This variety is from the Mixteca Alta region in Western Oaxaca State, and is in need of preservation. I sent this seed to a friend, Kevin Payne, in Taft, California for growing out. His climate (hot and arid) is superior for certain wheat varieties and he returned to me a generous portion of gorgeous grain. Kevin is a farmer-chef, and experimented with the Largo in various bread recipes. He stated that he believes this wheat to be delicious and suitable for a variety of bread types from sourdough to flat breads like tortillas or pitas. I have decided to offer this grain as the very first that I did not personally grow on my farm. I currently have a fall planted trial underway. I would recommend Largo for growers in hot and arid regions. I have yet to see how it performs here in Northern Indiana.
*There is a variety of modern wheat in the USDA seed bank called Largo. The variety I am offering is not the same. The Mexican Largo had extremely long awns (both black and light colored). The plants tillered heavily and grew well in extremely hot and dry conditions. It also had a lot of diversity of # of tillers and plant height within Kevin’s grow-out. All these indicate a heritage variety and not a modern, uniform variety.