Step aside, honey and maple syrup — there’s a new sweetener on the block, and it can be grown and processed right at home. In addition, there was a lot of silage planted in June and July. After pressing the cane through the mill, transfer the juice to a long, shallow pan to cook down over a fire pit into the final syrup. 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. Plant breeding efforts continue to improve the cold tolerance of sorghum for growth in the Midwest. Read more: Find more step-by-step details from the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s guidebook Sweet Sorghum Production and Processing on Sorghum Production: Milling and Cooking and Learn About Growing Sorghum: A Natural Sweetener. Edwards Engineering  Provides useful information and services to sorghum producers, including an events calendar. don't have an online Orders with all items in stock will ship in 3-4 business days, plus transit time. The long growing season makes late planting of sorghum risky in cooler climates. Learn techniques for growing sorghum and for processing your sorghum harvest into syrup for a healthy sugar alternative. This is a relatively early … Keep weeds under control until developing sorghum plants are big enough to dominate their space. 855-777-7096 You must thin sorghum plantings to 4 to 6 inches between plants in order to grow thick, tall canes. You should plant about a quarter-pound of seed for the initial sowing, and then replant a few weeks later in areas of poor germination. Country Rock Sorghum Thick, juicy stalks make for mighty fine sorghum syrup once squeezed and boiled down over a wood fire. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on Google+. Typical values are presented here below (EU Trials): Stem fresh and dry matter and sugar yields of Sweet Sorghum in various EU regions. Sorghum is a heat-loving, warm-season crop. Sorghum grows best where summers are quite warm, with daytime temperatures regularly topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit. • The National sweet sorghum regional test shows that lodging and low sugar content are the problems for biofuels. 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). As sweeteners go, sorghum syrup is a vitamin and mineral powerhouse that makes a splendid natural sugar alternative. 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. India is the second largest producer of sorghum in the world, producing ∼10–11 million tons from a … Survival Skills, Garden Planning, Seed Saving, Food Preservation, Natural Health – Dozens of courses, 100+ workshops, and interactive Q&As. Already a Member but I remember the sorghum canes growing in our garden, and the late summer day we harvested our crop. I feed this byproduct to our pigs, along with the spent sorghum canes — they wallow in, sleep on and eat them with relish. account? Sweet sorghum is comparable to grain sorghum in the fact that it can grow in the same droughty, more harsh climates while yielding well. This pan holds up to 50 gallons and can cook as few as 30 gallons without scorching the syrup. 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). Sorghum is well suited for dry conditions, areas with uneven rainfall distribution that may adversely affect the growing season of other crops, and high year to year variation in rainfall and water supplies. Don't miss the plans for a DIY sorghum press, submitted by a reader as a follow-up to the original printing of this article. We’ve always called it ‘cane’ – sorghum is known by many names; sweet sorghum, sorghum cane and all are correct. Thrives in the heat. We needed another ‘sweet’ option here on the farm too (we tap maple trees and have bee hives). You can begin cooking after you’ve pressed at least half of your canes. Survival Skills, Garden Planning, Seed Saving, Food Preservation, Natural Health – Dozens of courses, 100+ workshops, and interactive Q&As. I grew up helping my family make sweet sorghum syrup. Growing sorghum is a good choice as a rotation crop due to its high heat and moisture stress tolerance. https://www.motherearthnews.com/.../sweet-sorghum-zm0z13fmzkon Researchers in Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas have started converting sorghum into ethanol. You must cook the juice down to the final sorghum syrup. Bring on the cold — we’re ready. Like corn, grains of sorghum go through an immature “milk” stage when a pierced kernel will bleed a milk-like juice. Growers are also raising cane, so to speak: Sweet sorghum, sometimes called cane sorghum, yields a mild syrup similar in consistency to molasses. Marketing and Market Outlook Kentucky leads the country in sweet sorghum You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. For more detailed instructions on producing sweet sorghum syrup — beyond what you’ll find in this article — read our online selections from the book Sweet Sorghum Production and Processing from the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Sorghum Production: Milling and Cooking and Learn About Growing Sorghum: A Natural Sweetener. Collect the strained juice in a large vessel, such as a 5-gallon bucket. 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. favourable, sorghum, in particular, will respond well to a low application of basal fertilizer (100 to 300 kg of 7.14.7 per ha) followed with a top dressing of 100 to 200 kg per ha of 28 - 34% N fertilizer. Six weeks after planting, drench sorghum with a high-nitrogen liquid fertilizer to invigorate new growth. Hi, thanks for stopping by. Sherry Leverich Tucker is inspired and fascinated by country skills — especially sorghum-making, market gardening and hog-raising. Sorghum is fairly drought-tolerant and grows quickly following a rain, so irrigation shouldn’t be necessary in most climates. Growing Sorghum. Similar to sugar cane molasses in flavor and use, sweet sorghum syrup contains healthy doses of calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. During peak season (January - April) please allow extra time for your order to be fulfilled. Immediately ladle the sorghum syrup into sterilized jars and screw on clean lids. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! If you have sorghum recipes to share, send them to Letters@MotherEarthNews.com. Stalks are crushed and the extracted juice is cooked down to a thick, sticky syrup. Canadian Subscribers - Click Here of Georgia, March 1999. After your first sorghum harvest, you’ll be able to save enough seed for future plantings. (I’ve shared many of these stories in my blog, A Modern Missouri Homesteader.) International Subscribers - Click Here Sorghum grows best where summers are quite warm, with daytime temperatures regularly topping 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Already a Member but 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. account? Comparatively, a smaller, 100-square-foot crop (two 50-foot rows) would produce about 6 gallons of juice and two-thirds gallon of syrup. The final summer party of the year is coming to a close, replaced with dreams of baked sweet potatoes and hot biscuits smothered with butter and drizzled with sorghum syrup. Potential for Sweet sorghum as a biofuel. Sorghum is well suited for dry conditions, areas with uneven rainfall distribution that may adversely affect the growing season of other crops, ... with grain sorghum producing a grain that boasts a higher starch content than sweet sorghum. 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. I’m helping MOTHER EARTH NEWS lead a sorghum revival so that you, too, can experience the sweet satisfaction of becoming one step closer to food self-sufficiency. For growing advice for many more garden crops, check out our complete Crops at a Glance Guide. Follow us on facebook http://www.facebook.com/SurvivalHT Growing and Harvesting Sorghum for Livestock Feed. It is relatively drought tolerant, has a high forage and ethanol yield per acre, has relatively low cost of production, is adaptable to no-till, has a co-product called bagasse that could be used for animal feed, and the crop itself could be used for silage if needed. National Sweet Sorghum Producers and Processors Association  This corn could be very immature when it is harvested. Sorghum also favours a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.8 on a Calcium Chloride Scale. Sweet sorghum grows as a cane from 6 to 10 feet tall and makes a cone-shaped seed head filled with BB-sized seeds. The ground, pressed canes yield a sweet, light green juice that is then cooked into sorghum syrup. Sorghum is a natural sweetener that's packed with nutrients and can be used in many recipes. SUNUP talks with crop production specialist Chad Godsey about best practices for effectively planting and growing sweet sorghum to be used for ethanol. Gardeners should prepare their plots when the soil temperatures are at 60 degrees to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Everyone gathers around the flames to discuss how this batch was different from last year’s syrup, when we’ll see frost, and when we’ll have our first hard freeze. You must decide when the syrup is finished based on thickness and taste, which is a learning process. Several seed varieties are available (see “Sweet Sorghum Varieties,” at the end of this article). Pile all of the canes facing the same direction, and transport these piles to your mill and processing site. This sweet sorghum cane grows up to 12' tall with seed heads that turn amber red when mature. Heckemeyer hopes to produce butanol, which nearly packs the same energetic punch as natural gas. We use a 12-inch-diameter, 6-foot-tall stovepipe. Smooth the soil back over the plowed area and sow sorghum seeds by hand. 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. Eventually, less scum and more brown bubbles will appear — a signal that you are nearly done cooking. Sorghums are fast-growing, warm weather annuals that will provide plenty of feed in mid-summer when many other forages slow down. Ten gallons of sorghum juice will make approximately 1 gallon of syrup. Plant them 1 to 2 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches apart. The cost of growing sweet sorghum is four times lower than that of sugarcane, P 17,820 compared to P 44,250/ha/year according to ICRISAT. Developing a new mill design for hand-crank sorghum processing. 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. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. Heirloom Okra and Green onion seed stock as well Use a skimmer to lift off the green foam that floats to the surface throughout the day, which must be removed to ensure a clean, flavorful syrup. (For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.). The craft of sorghum-making requires special equipment to press the juice from the canes. Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). After Dad passed away, I became determined that my children would continue to play a part in producing this delicious, homegrown, natural sweetener. Many farms are growing sorghum or sorghum species for the first time. A fire pit is the typical heat source for small-scale sorghum syrup production. Sorghum seed must be planted, thinned and fertilized in late May to early June, after the ground is warm. Sweet sorghum. Sweet As … Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). Sweet As is a sweet sorghum x sweet sorghum variety that has high yield and sugar levels. Shorter season: ‘Della,’ ‘Rox Orange’ (aka ‘Waconia’), ‘Sugar Drip’, Longer season: ‘Dale,’ ‘M81E,’ ‘White African’. 24.05.17. Sign in with your online account. The best part? Broom corn is a type of sorghum that holds its seeds on sturdy straws, perfect for trimming into brooms. This requires a large pan (evaporator) and a heat source, typically a wood fire. The ornamental tops also can be used in dried arrangements. Growing Heirloom Sweet Sorghum A Quick Look at Some New Varieties By George Kuepper, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with Bruce Branscum, Kerr Farm/Ranch Technician, and Melanie Zoeller, Kerr Center Executive Administrative Assistant Kerr Center for HEIRLOOM VARIETY TRIALS Sustainable Agriculture P.O. Now, gardeners are raising food-grade sorghums to mill into fresh, gluten-free flour for baking breads, pastas and other edibles, or brewing the grains for beer and other spirits. Sorghum-making is a way to increase your food self-sufficiency, but more than that, it’s a meaningful tradition you can add to your homestead. 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). 713-849-6825 If you are growing rows of sorghum, the rows must be at least 3 … The ‘Dale’ variety is productive in a range of climates, or you can try heirloom sweet sorghum varieties like ‘Sugar Drip’ or ‘Rox Orange.’ For more information on this type of sorghum, go to Sweet Sorghum Revival: How to Grow Your Own Natural Sweetener. In summer, select vigorous plants for seed production, and make sure they receive adequate food and water throughout the season. Offers new mills in old and new designs for both small and large operations. Harvest grain sorghum by cutting off the seed clusters with a few inches of stalk attached, and dry them in a warm, well-ventilated place for at least a week. Sweet As is great for grazing and also makes excellent silage. Varietal choice The two preferred varieties in Zimbabwe are: SC SILA Drought tolerant. Look for sweet sorghum producers in your hardiness zone to acquire seed acclimated to your area — most sorghum varieties mature in 100 to 120 days. Already a Member? When mature, canes are stripped of their leaves and seed heads and crushed, ... Before growing sorghum, consider the length of your growing season. It is actually a type of grass not unlike corn. For a small crop that you can process into syrup in one day, you should plant six 100-foot rows of cane, spacing each row about 1 to 2 feet apart. Grain sorghum, also called milo, produces tall panicles covered with small, round seeds in late summer. USPS First Class (under 1 pound) transit time … Keep weeds under control until developing sorghum plants are big enough to dominate their space. The variety of cane grown, the type of soil it’s grown in, the maturity of the cane at harvest, the length of cooking — all of these factors work together to turn out a unique, natural sugar substitute each time. The syrup is sometimes incorrectly referred to as sorghum molasses. Sorghum-makers press sweet, green juice from the sorghum canes and cook the juice down into a finished syrup. As you start squeezing the canes, build a fire in the pit. Prepare soil much as you would for corn, and be sure to mix a balanced organic fertilizer into the bed or row before planting. don't have an online Send her your sorghum-making memories and recipes and she will post them on her blog, A Modern Missouri Homesteader. But, sorghum syrup is really labor intensive to make and when corn syrup is so much easier and cheaper to produce there's not much point in growing it. Sweet sorghum grown for syrup looks similar to corn but can reach 10-plus feet tall. Its harvest timing is very different than corn silage if you want to get it right. Growing sorghum is as simple as growing corn, and you can choose between growing grain sorghum (milo), sorghum varieties known as broom corn, or sweet sorghum for making into sorghum syrup. Sweet sorghum has potential to be a main fuel source, but it will still take years of research to be able to convert the energy. 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. Sweet Sorghum Productivity The productivity of Sweet Sorghum largely depends on many para-meters:-climatic condition (temperature, precipitation), soil quality, variety of Sweet Sorghum, agronomic practice. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. The fire is built higher, kids are playing hide-and-seek, the stars are coming out, and laughter fills the air. 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