We've been growing Dwarf Grain sorghum (orginally from SSE) for several years and are thinking of finding a better variety in terms of flavor and ease of threshing. Does anyone have experience with Tarahumara Popping or Texicoa? I'm wondering about flavor, seed color, do the glumes thresh free of the grain, yields, days to harvest, plant height, etc. Not much info out there on the internet, expecially on the Texicoa variety. The plant size and head shape of the Texicoa sounds like the Dwarf Grain. Dwarf Grain has seeds that are a bronze/tan. It looks like the Tarahumara has open heads looking more like Proso millet. Do they yield as much as the tighter, more dense head types? Any thoughts on this?
I grew Tarahumara a while back, so I'm fuzzy on the details in comparison to other sorghum (which I've not grown), but I think it wasn't hard to thresh. Maybe this is the year to plant it out and see what's what.
Post by esoteric_agriculture on Jan 29, 2019 10:16:00 GMT -5
I have grown Texicoa for quite a few years now. I am pretty sure I posted on this forum a few years ago about my Sorghum growing experience. I also have a decent YouTube video on Sorghum on my Esoteric Agriculture channel. Texicoa is a good variety, I have no complaints. It gets maybe 3-5 feet tall here, very large but densely packed seed heads, large white seeds. I’ve only grown Texicoa and Dale, and both thresh out very easily and cleanly for me. Actually both pop fine enough for me as well. I’ve never grown a real popping Sorghum to say if that type pops better. Texicoa is very mild ( bland) flavored. I’m not completely positive on days to maturity but it’s much faster than Dale which usually take the whole growing season and then some indoor drying after hard freeze hits. Texicoa is probably at least a month earlier if not more so. I’m in Zone 6b southern Pennsylvania. I also have a YouTube video on Grain threshing much of which is in regards to Sorghum. Hope that’s helpful.
Thanks for the input. We ordered a couple of packets of the Texicoa from Sandhill and they arrived already. The seeds are indeed very white - I did some further cleaning on the seed and found that the glumes remove readily. As long as I was at it I sieved out the smaller seeds so I'll be planting just the nice plump ones. As for threshing, a few years ago we posted a You Tube video www.youtube.com/watch?v=pylmEzZ4goA but this year we did it a bit differently. First, we used a metal curry comb (meant for livestock) to break up the seed heads. Then we put them in a modified leaf shredder, like this one: www.amazon.com/YARD-FORCE-Electric-Shredder-Accessory/dp/B00FF9ZZFG that has a piece of 1/4" hardware cloth installed under the rotating string trimmer innards and a heavy-duty dimmer control from American Science www.sciplus.com/motor-speed-controller-49372-p to slow the motor speed way down. It was quicker and allowed us to process a larger harvest easily. We also use the leaf shredder to thresh amaranth after removing the bulk of the central stem. As for yields, (2) 4'x30' beds of amaranth #29 Rodale 127 planted 3 rows per bed gave 16.75 pints of cleaned grain, while (1) 4'x30' bed of SSE's dwarf grain sorghum also planted 3 rows per bed gave 14.25 pints of grain. The Zdrowie flint corn had (5) 4'x30' beds planted with 2 rows each and it yielded 134 pints. We don't have an accurate scale and so I always record the yields by volume for our grain and bean crops. For comparison, that works out per 100 square feet to be: 6.98 pints amaranth, 11.875 pints sorghum, and 22.33 pints of Zdrowie flint corn. We like cooking with all these grains, so yields alone are not the criteria for planting. The sorghum is less impacted by drought than the corn. The amaranth seems to be somewhere between the other two in this regard. In the past couple of years I have been giving a workshop called "Beyond the Veggie Garden - Staple Crops for the Adventurous Gardener/Cook". I always appreciate meeting and learning from others on this path as there are so few of us at this point in time. So thanks again for sharing your knowledge and letting me know that I'm not alone in this endeavor.