The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Sorghum harvest

Red harvest

The harvest frenzy is finally starting to wind down. We've been using the extra time to kill off our old chickens and ducks and start getting the garden in order for the winter. I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that I'm still adding more items to our to-do list every day than I remove, though.

Drying sorghum

The only relatively large harvest we made this week was sorghum. I'm mostly just playing around with grains at the moment, but have to admit that sorghum is a keeper. The heads are easy to cut free, they dry on our curing racks without molding, and then the goats eat the seeds right off the stems during the winter when I think they deserve a special treat. In the meantime, the sorghum stalks (well, leaves really) are superior even to sweet-corn stalks as morning goat fodder. Finally, our sorghum grew better than our field corn in the waterlogged, clayey soil where I stuck it, figuring an experimental crop didn't deserve better. I think next year we'll delete the field corn and stick to sorghum as our primary goat grain.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I had considered sorghum, but between a barn build and knee surgery, I just didnt get around to planting a test crop...its helpful to know you found it worthwhile ....
Comment by Deb Sat Sep 19 20:47:39 2015

Nice! This was my first year planting sorghum too.. really did well! I was surprised. I do want to plant it again! my field corn still produces way more! I've been growing hickory king for 5 years now.. the goats milk production always bumps up when they get the fresh stalks too! field corn does need more attention to grow good... more pests bother it... and it needs more futile ground if I want 2 full ears per stalk. But even on a bad year for it like this year the amount of food from it just out does anything else grain like I can grow. fun to experiment with growing!

Comment by angie Mon Sep 21 07:37:24 2015

I don't mean to scare you, but I (just today) came across an article regarding a potential problem with sorghum. The article deals specifically with cattle, so I'm not sure if you should be concerned for your goats. I have no goats or cattle myself, but I consider CSU extension a reliable source of information.

Comment by CMRS Mon Sep 21 20:10:48 2015

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