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Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sorghum

Have you ever heard of Sorghum before? I hadn't until we moved to Tennessee. We noticed these signs up all over our area at the Amish farms. We started asking around and found out it was a sweet syrup similar to molasses. Well, I am never been a huge fan of molasses, except for putting it my ginger bread...so that was pretty much where the buck stopped for me. But then, last Sukkot, some friend of ours asked for some help during the week of the feast to go to their farm and help harvest the sorghum. We new nothing of it, but when a friend in Yah asks for help what do you do? GO (whenever we can)!! Right??!! Well we do. Anyway, it was an adventurous day, and even though we worked and it was hot - it was a lot of fun!


Sweet Sorghum is a tall (8ft or so) grass/cane. It kind of reminded me of corn. Our job was to strip the leaves down off the stalks and then others (who better knew what they were doing) came behind us and hacked the stalks with a machete and put them in piles. The stalks were then taken to a local mill where the stalks are pressed to remove the cane juice inside. It is boiled down like maple syrup to get more concentrated in flavor. (We did not witness this part.) They brought us a jar of it later as a thank you for helping and it was delicious! I would describe it closer to the flavor of honey than molasses! You can use it like honey. It is so much milder than molasses. I was told this was the sweetest and mildest they (and others) had ever tasted...so I hope it wasn't a fluke. But we are going to try to grow some this year! We figure with the economy going the way it is and food prices doing what they are, it is good to diversify into different areas of self sustainability. We are told it is hardy and grows in just about any soil and is not very picky, it can withstand drought pretty good.


I researched some more and learned that sorghum grain is the third most important cereal crop grown in the United States and the fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world. The United States is the world's largest producer of grain sorghum followed by India and Nigeria. It is a leading cereal grain produced in Africa and is an important food source in India. Leading exporters are the United States, Australia and Argentina." Hmm - who knew?? This Yankee girl didn't. Apparently, it is a "southern thing". As you can see from the other regions in which it is grown, it likes the heat.


The tops of the plants generate the seed grain. This can be used for a plethora of things! The grain can be ground into a flour, or cooked similar to rice. It can be made into porridge or popped like popcorn! It is used for animal feed too! The birds love it, so you have to beat them too it. Some varieties are used as wild feed plots for hunters.


This year we are experimenting with our own sorghum. We got seed form our local Amish which is another story in itself: I had been researching seeds online and found out there are many varieties, that have different uses and stronger qualities for the various uses. I was finding about 10gr for about $3. Other places we saw 100 or 200 seeds going for the same price. We weren't sure how much we would need for the patch we had designated, but estimated about 2500 seeds based on our square footage. That would be close to $40 at that rate...we thought there would have to be a better way. Our friends said "check the Amish" (DUH!), so we did..and within a half hour we were driving home with a POUND of seeds (way more than we need) for $1.50!! No tax, not shipping and we met some new neighbors in the process, perfect. Buy local - right?! YES!! We'll have to take pictures of our process and let you know how it goes. We have a mill to press it, close by, so we are covered there too.


We don't know what to expect for syrup or seed yield. If things go well and we like it, (and we get a tractor to work with) we will increase our crop next year.


This post was shared on The Barn Hop

5 comments:

alszambrano said...

My family just discovered sorghum as well. I'd seen it in a number of recipes from my mum's Weston Price group - and then when we were picking up bulk goods at a local Amish store, found that it is far more affordable than maple syrup (about 1/3 the price!) I've begun substituting it for maple syrup in recipes and on top of pancakes - we love it!

Kim said...

Sorghum makes me want to live in the south! :) We like to mix it with softened butter to put on our cornbread. Good luck with your planting!

tribalmama said...

Last year was our first year planting sorghum. It was super easy and drought tolerant. We planted a small square and reaped enough seed to plant an entire field this year! The family chewed on the cane sticks during harvest. YUM! I am not sure if we are going to press it this year or again save it strictly for seed...due to the economy.

May YHVH open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands!

Moira said...

Great story, great information!! Thanks Pamela!!!
Shalom,Moira

Beautifully Veiled said...

I grew up in Tennessee and we LOVE sorghum! We get it at the "plain" community just north of us over the TN state line. I'm really enjoying your blog. We are currently "seeking out the ancient paths....."
Blessings,
Linda in GA