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Friday, January 21, 2011

New Crop Announcement at May Dreams Gardens

Broom corn seed packet
Did you know that in addition to the first five secrets to achieving happiness in your garden that I wrote about last winter around this time, and the additional five secrets that I wrote about later in the year, that I have discovered another 20 secrets?

But forget I wrote that.

The only secret I am revealing on this, my second anniversary of joining SGAFO, is the new crop I’m growing in the vegetable garden this summer.

Without further delay, taunting, or teasing…

It’s broom corn!

And the five ten questions you might have about this choice:

Did you know that broom corn is not edible? Yes.

Have you ever wanted to grow broom corn before, is this some fulfillment of a lifelong goal? No.

Why do you want to grow it now? See page 4 of the Botanical Interests seed catalog.

What if I didn’t get the Botanical Interests seed catalog? They have some information about broom corn online, but the whole story is in the catalog. Suffice it to say that in 1781, Thomas Jefferson listed broom corn as one of the most important crops of the time.  Ben Franklin actually  found some seeds for broom corn on a hat brush from England in 1725 and was the first to grow broom corn on this side of the big pond. Now that I know all this, I had to add "grow broom corn" to my gardener's life list.  One thinks about their gardener's life list a lot on any anniversary of joining SGAFO.

Won’t the broom corn take up a lot of room in the vegetable garden? I actually may plant it somewhere else in the garden, as a backdrop to flowers. We’ll see.

What will you use the broom corn for? That depends on how much I grow. I might end up just letting the garden fairies use the seed heads to make their own brooms. Wait, that’s a dumb idea… garden fairies aren’t that tidy. I’ll at least make a whisk broom.

Is broom corn really corn? No, broom corn is really a sorghum. But corn and sorghum are both in the Poaceae family of plants.

Will you still grow corn? Yes, I am still going to grow some sweet corn.

Are you really old enough to be in SGAFO? Yes, but I am a young member.

When will you reveal the other 20 secrets? It’s kind of late. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

18 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

A friend of mine grows broom corn and has made some brooms with it. It isn't neat and tidy. Hmmm maybe that was her garden as a whole. Ha... Anyway have fun growing it. You can do or say anything you want today because it is your birthday. You can dream all you want to about the garden or anything else. What ever makes you happy especially today. Happy Birthday.

Helen @ Gardening With Confidence said...

This really would be a cool plant to grow. I don't see me making a broom tho. LOL But you never know! H.

fairegarden said...

I have grown the broom corn and made brooms from it, and yes, it was a lifelong dream come true! It does get quite tall, but would make a good backdrop for some taller perennials like Joe Pye, Rudbeckia lanciniata, etc. It will be beautiful! :-)
Frances

Shannon said...

I don't know about making brooms (who has time for sweeping with all the gardening that needs to be done?), but I think it will look quite pretty as a backdrop in a naturalized perennial bed. I can't wait to hear how it does!

Commonweeder said...

Happy Birthday! A birthday is always a good time to review the things one has always wanted to do - and be aware of undreamed of opportunities - like growing broom corn. It looks like a beautiful plant. I'm going to have to order the catalog for complete information.

Rose said...

I'm glad you didn't have a contest for us to guess your new "vegetable"/seeds, because I never would have guessed broom corn. Looks interesting, Carol; there is actually a broom corn factory not too far from us and near an Amish settlement. I've never noticed fields of it growing, but there must be; I need to be more observant next time I'm driving that way.


A very Happy Birthday to you! Maybe the fairies can make you a broom for your next birthday.

Gail said...

Dear Carol, Broom Corn always sounds like a cool plant, but, I am not going to make brooms either! Happy Birthday! gail

Pond Filters said...

Seed sowing is the first step towards gardening. Gardening is a beautiful habit and hobby to follow as it gives content to the heart and peace to the mind. Even I have a small garden in my backyard but it is a pond garden.

Eliza @ Appalachian Feet said...

Haha! I particularly enjoyed your commentary on untidy fairies. I bet the broom corn will be lovely, and the historical interest is awesome.

Annie in Austin said...

You are such an original thinker, Carol! On a day when another established member of the SGAFO might consider buying herself a Roomba as a birthday gift, you're ordering
seed to grow your own broom!

Happy Birthday, Kiddo and may this be a wonderful year for you,
Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Plantaliscious said...

What fun! I trust you will keep us updated on its progress? And will make a broom from it... Wonderful idea.

healingmagichands said...

Now, that sounds like a lot of fun, and I'm sure the broom corn will make a beautiful backdrop. and you'll get a whisk broom out of the deal too.

Good luck, and I'm looking forward to your reports on the success of the new vegetable.

Erica Smith said...

Actually it is edible - you can turn the seeds into syrup, or pop them like popcorn, though apparently some varieties work better for those purposes than others. I'm thinking about trying it myself - thanks for the encouragement.

Kathy said...

I grew broom corn several years ago so I could make a broom, but I had trouble with it getting moldy when I was trying to dry it. Now I just buy my brooms from a person who makes hand made brooms
Kathy
(Happy Birthday, little sister)

David & Melanie said...

Hi Carol,
As a kid, when I discovered that brooms were in fact made from a plant, I dug through a broom and found some seeds in the central area. What a discovery!
And...from the it's a small world section....I am from El Campo Texas...which was once the BROOM CORN CAPITAL OF THE US (back in the early 1900s). That's no longer true and its been replaced by rice, regular corn, milo, and cotton.
Best of luck growing broom corn.

David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

Elaine said...

I do hope you make at least one broom from your harvest! I can't wait to see what it looks like in bloom.

Finding My Green Thumb said...

Hello!!
I was excited to read this post because i planted Broom corn last year, it grew beautifully! However when i grew sweet corn they cross pollinated and i couldn't harvest any of the corn. The seeds from the broom corn also ended up becoming a problem for me because they ended up all over the garden!! the squirrels and birds love them..Good luck and yes i made a whisk broom ha ha!

Kathy said...

Hope you had a great birthday. In the back of the Jan issue of This Old House, they have a column, Save This Old House. A house from Greene, NY was featured, and brooms used to be made in the barn of the house.