Photo by Rachael Brugger
Long near-and-dear to my stomach, warm, butter-laden sorghum oozing over a scratch biscuit has been a breakfast staple for most of my life. This intensely rich, dark syrup is the culinary genius of farmers around the globe, and I’ve been fortunate to live in an area ripe with its production. As a youngster, yearly outings to the Sorghum Festival in West Liberty, Ky., not only meant eating all things sorghum but also connecting my family to the farmers who grow and produce the sweet indulgence we looked forward to each year. Bringing back handcrafted jugs, we’d strive to make the syrup last until the next year’s festival made it readily available again.
While this sweet temptation is easier to obtain nowadays, its production has remained the same. Its grains boiled down to steaming pots of syrup, sorghum provides fodder not only for my sweet tooth but also for livestock and other value-added farm products. To highlight this crop’s diverse marketability and ease of cultivation, we’ve put together an infographic that touches on its history, growth habits and requirements, and uses.
With the planting season just around the corner, we’ve got plenty of farming techniques and garden tips for boosting your farm’s bottom line come harvest time. Whether you’re considering a transition to organic production, looking for ways to extend your growing season, seeking healthier soils with less disturbance or battling sloped hillsides, this issue is brimming with ideas and tools to help you get your grow on.