Developing a new mill design for hand-crank sorghum processing. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. In summer, select vigorous plants for seed production, and make sure they receive adequate food and water throughout the season. Understand the three types of sorghum is key to choosing the best varieties to grow. Researchers in Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas have started converting sorghum into ethanol. account? Even in warm climates, sorghum is customarily planted in late May or early June. ‘Sugar Drip’ is a favorite among sorghum-makers in my area of Missouri, myself included. Sweet sorghum grows as a cane from 6 to 10 feet tall and makes a cone-shaped seed head filled with BB-sized seeds. At MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. Canadian Subscribers - Click Here It shouldn’t taste as raw as it does when it’s first squeezed from the stalk, and it should be thick like corn syrup (the hot syrup will be thinner than the final product). Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide, Natural Cold Storage: Fresh Food in Winter, Keeping Crops Cool During Hot Weather: 13 Ways to Beat the Heat, Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price. A crop this size will yield approximately 40 to 50 gallons of juice, which will cook down to about 4 to 5 gallons of finished sorghum molasses. USPS First Class (under 1 pound) transit time … Sweet Sorghum planting in China Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. At the end of a day of sorghum-making, the pan has been licked clean, rinsed out and set to rest against a nearby tree. Drizzle sorghum syrup on warm biscuits or pancakes, add to muffin or gingerbread batters, or follow these recipes: Ooey-Gooey, Rich and Sweet Sorghum Caramels. Like corn, grains of sorghum go through an immature “milk” stage when a pierced kernel will bleed a milk-like juice. Cut a stalk every week during the last few weeks of maturity, strip away the cane and chew on the pith to taste the juice as its flavor changes from grassy to sweet. Sandy soils in warm climates are especially good for growing sorghum because it withstands drought and flooding better than corn does. You may want to look into making a group purchase, as these large mills are often expensive. Plant them 1 to 2 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches apart. It's an annual crop that produces 20+ tons of biomass per acre, which you crush to extract the juice and make sorghum syrup (to me the taste is somewhere between honey & molasses). To help us power the sorghum revival, our friends at GrainMaker are developing a smaller, hand-cranked mill that should be available in mid-2013. Sweet sorghum is comparable to grain sorghum in the fact that it can grow in the same droughty, more harsh climates while yielding well. One of the most versatile members of the grass family, sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) can be grown for grain, crafting or for processing into sorghum syrup. Send her your sorghum-making memories and recipes and she will post them on her blog, A Modern Missouri Homesteader. Already a Member? Unlike sugarcane, sweet sorghum has the ability to grow outside tropical climates, providing Heckemeyer another means of increasing his profitability by contributing a unique product for a growing marketplace. Grain sorghum, also called milo, produces tall panicles covered with small, round seeds in late summer. You must thin sorghum plantings to 4 to 6 inches between plants in order to grow thick, tall canes. Sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench) is an attractive crop for the biofuel industry in the arid-southwestern United States due to its high yields of fermentable juice as well as fibrous biomass, with lower water requirements and high water use efficiency. Shorter season: ‘Della,’ ‘Rox Orange’ (aka ‘Waconia’), ‘Sugar Drip’, Longer season: ‘Dale,’ ‘M81E,’ ‘White African’. Provides useful information and services to sorghum producers, including an events calendar. The syrup is sometimes incorrectly referred to as sorghum molasses. The reader's letter and instructions are available under Sorghum Press Plans (scroll to the bottom of the page). After your first sorghum harvest, you’ll be able to save enough seed for future plantings. At MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. Sweet Sorghum Varieties Best Adapted to Kentucky I’ve read about­­ kids chewing on sticks of sweet cane, neighbors working together to send the cane through the mill, and loving parents ladling syrup onto a pan for kids to dip into with apples. Hi, thanks for stopping by. You say this can be grown and processed at home, but I am left wondering how on earth you grind and press 8-foot stalks at home. A pan about 2 to 3 feet long and 1 to 2 feet wide would work well for cooking down 10 gallons of juice. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on Google+. Sweet sorghum is harvested about two weeks after the milk stage by cutting off the canes at ground level, stripping off the leaves, and setting aside the green canes. Sweet Sorghum Revival: How to Grow Your Own Natural Sweetener. You must cook the juice down to the final sorghum syrup. Sorghum canes grow throughout summer and form large seed heads that usually turn brick-red as they mature, typically in late summer or early fall. Sweet As is a sweet sorghum variety that has high yield and sugar levels. Sorghum seed must be planted, thinned and fertilized in late May to early June, after the ground is warm. Thrives in the heat. I feed this byproduct to our pigs, along with the spent sorghum canes — they wallow in, sleep on and eat them with relish. Up to a week before your processing date, remove all of the leaves and seed heads from the canes, saving the seed heads for replanting. Sorghum is a natural sweetener that's packed with nutrients and can be used in many recipes. account? Harvesting and Storage https://www.motherearthnews.com/.../sweet-sorghum-zm0z13fmzkon Place the clean pan over the fire and immediately pour the juice in, adding the remaining juice to the pan as you press. Sweet sorghum, also called cane sorghum, is grown for the sweet juice that is extracted from the tall stalks. Prepare soil much as you would for corn, and be sure to mix a balanced organic fertilizer into the bed or row before planting. All orders are shipped by the United States Postal Service or UPS, either USPS First Class, USPS Priority, or UPS Ground. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! You can find vintage iron sorghum mills at farm sales or purchase new machines built following old designs. Marketing and Market Outlook Kentucky leads the country in sweet sorghum When mature, canes are stripped of their leaves and seed heads and crushed, ... Before growing sorghum, consider the length of your growing season. That sounds like something that would require special equipment. Many farms are growing sorghum or sorghum species for the first time. Unlike corn, sorghum is self-fertile, so a large plot is not needed for pollination purposes. Sweet sorghum. In fall, during a period of dry weather, select the largest seeds produced by these plants and save them for replanting. When the syrup is complete, the pan needs to be transferred from the heat to a heat-safe surface. To see images of Sherry and her family milling and processing sweet sorghum visit the Image Gallery. (For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.). 855-777-7096 When the seeds of broom corn are hard and the plants begin to fail, cut stalks as long as you want them for decorating or crafting purposes. This pan holds up to 50 gallons and can cook as few as 30 gallons without scorching the syrup. When you press the canes, you’ll need to catch the flow of juice and strain it to keep out bits of stalk, pith and dirt. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. These aren’t only old, nearly forgotten memories. Fertilize and cultivate your sorghum planting as you would a crop of corn, though sorghum won’t require as much nitrogen. We plan to evaluate the potential of sweet sorghum as an ethanol-producing crop for Nebraska. Your pit should be surrounded on three sides with cinder blocks (stacked two-high works well) to support the pan and hold it level over the fire. The barely-mature seeds can be fed to animals, or cooked and eaten like other whole grains. The craft of sorghum-making requires special equipment to press the juice from the canes. As sweeteners go, sorghum syrup is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse that makes a splendid natural sugar alternative. It is actually a type of grass not unlike corn. Many grain sorghum varieties grow to only 5 feet tall, but sweet sorghum and broom corn plants can top 8 feet. Six weeks after planting, drench sorghum with a high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer to invigorate new growth. Sorghum is fairly drought-tolerant and grows quickly following a rain, so irrigation shouldn’t be necessary in most climates. Another positive climate change value of this crop is that it consumes less water. Plant breeding efforts continue to improve the cold tolerance of sorghum for growth in the Midwest. The grain can be milled into fresh flour, and some varieties such as ‘Tarahumara’ can be popped like popcorn. The best part? Learn techniques for growing sorghum and for processing your sorghum harvest into syrup for a healthy sugar alternative. Typical values are presented here below (EU Trials): Stem fresh and dry matter and sugar yields of Sweet Sorghum in various EU regions. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only). Survival Skills, Garden Planning, Seed Saving, Food Preservation, Natural Health – Dozens of courses, 100+ workshops, and interactive Q&As. 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