YQ population wheat and 3 reasons we should all eat more wholemeal

June 25, 2022


It’s that time of the month again! Our June special is here. Inspired by last month’s post from Gilchester Organics on how much wheat is wasted through sifting I decided to make a wholemeal loaf this month. But it is not just any wholemeal – it is YQ population wheat sourdough loaf

Three day YQ Wholemeal Sourdough

Also in this letter something interesting to listen to and the usual recipes!

In case you haven’t opted-in for our monthly special yet, please, do it below. (Remember, you only need to do this once).

What is YQ?

In standard, pureline, monoculture varieties of wheat, all plants are almost identical. In population wheats, all plants are genetically distinct. This brings great diversity within the crop and the field – down to the height and size of individual plants. 

If one individual plant in a population fails due to disease or weather conditions, there are others that will still grow and thrive. This vast in-built genetic diversity equates to huge resilience so that the crops do not require any inputs such as pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, unlike monoculture crops which are greatly dependent on all of these high nitrogen fertilisers. (from Waklyn’s Farm

YQ was developed since 2001 by the John Innes Centre and Wakelyn’s Organic Research Centre by crossing 20 varieties of wheat. One of the main issues organic and non-conventional farmers face is getting a harvest that has a stable yield and quality. The increased genetic diversity in YQ wheat resulted in not just an attractive Yield but also Quality too. And that’s how YQ wheat got its nickname. Quality refers to the wheat having a good baking quality, protein content, flavour and nutrition. 

‘YQ’ is now being grown all over the UK, with farmers growing and saving their seeds every year to perpetuate genetic diversity and resilience. This also results over time in a crop and food that is distinct to the region where it has been grown.

The particular flour we are using for our special was grown by Andrew Williams at Home Farm, Suffolk and milled by Hodmedod’s.

What makes it special?


Wholemeal has a lower glycemic index, which means it causes a slower, more gradual increase in blood sugar. It is also made through long fermentation which results in better digestibility! I listened to a great podcast this week which has more on the science behind sourdough (click here to listen)


Food provenance is understanding and knowing about our food supply chain. By buying from Hodmedod and Walk Mill we know we continue to support local and ethically grown wheat. We invest money back into our local community and protect ourselves and you from the uncertainty of the larger food supply chains.


Change is not something that happens overnight, it is small incremental changes each of us can do every day. We want to be part of that change locally – one less car on the road, a transparent business you know personally and not a faceless corporation, money reinvested back into our community.

Sandwich inspirations

The Italian

Lightly toast your bread, drizzle some olive oil and spread it with pesto, top with prosciuttomozzarella slices and whatever green leaves you have in the fridge. Best eaten sitting in the sun

Need a vegetarian version?

Not strictly a sandwich this is an absolute lunch winner during the summer. Toast your bread (dark toast). While the bread is toasting grate some very ripe tomatoes (we LOVE IOW Tomato Stall) and season with salt and pepper. Rub a garlic clove all over your toasted bread, drizzle some olive oil and top it with the grated tomatoes and some flaky salt.

I like plants only!

In a food processor combine a tin of beans (broad, cannellini, whatever you have in the cupboard), some sundried tomatoes (fresh could also work but need to be super ripe), a clove of garlic, a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and some some salt. Top with pesto if you have in the fridge or chopped up parsley and pickled red onions.