I know where the idea came from. Just before Christmas, some random advert on Facebook offered me 50,000 sorghum seeds for 95 euros. I guess that's a good price, I don't know really.
And I've always said I can't be marketed to! I guess I can when it comes to interesting grains.
I don't know a whole lot about this grass, pretty much unknown as human food in Europe and America, but the 5th most grown grain crop in the world. So, I did some clicking around, and decided that sorghum would be a fun thing to plant. It grows incredibly quickly, needs much less water than other grains, and can grow in pretty weak soil.
This summer may well be long and dry, and I certainly have pretty weak soil. At least, I do until I've worked it for a few years. But I am planning on new space for new things.
I checked out the facebook advert, and they really do only do farmer-quantity bulk seeds.
Seeing as you drill the seed at 35 seeds per m², and the minimum order is for 50,000 seeds, this is enough seed to plant about one and a half hectares (3½ acres). I don't want that much of the stuff!. Not in the first year anyway. I might not like it.
I thought about asking around to see if anyone wanted to chip in and share a sack, but then I realised, I really don't know anyone who would want any quantity of sorghum seeds, let alone a few thousand. That, then, was probably that.
But, when the universe is trying to tell me something, it doesn't let up until the message seeps slowly though the concrete of my skull.
Two days ago, Dr Gregor, every vegan's favourite nutritionalist, posted a video called "Sorghum: The forgotten grain". The man has never had a word to say about it before. And now, here he is in all my feeds, spouting off about it. Really? The universe wants me to grow sorghum? I mean, it's sent me some pretty strange messages before, but I do know better than to question it.
Here's the video. Unfortunately, it appears to be one of his two-parters and at the time of writing, the second part isn't up yet.
Even that, though, isn't enough for me. And besides, who the heck knows where you can get seeds in less than whole-field sacks?
A neighbour phoned me up yesterday and asked if I needed anything from the shops. I haven't spoken to them in a couple of weeks. I thought that I might have done something to upset them, but turns out that they were just self-confining on account of all the Covids, but just as significantly, the crazy amount of snow.
I didn't really need anything, but I thought I might as well pop along with them. You never know.
I knew they would be going to the farm shop. As in the shop for people who have farms, not the shop of the farm selling bespoke beeswax and port fritters on a hand-knitted charcuterie board.
I didn't really need anything from there either, but it's always good to have a mooch.
So I mooched.
I have no idea why, but I mooched a little longer than strictly necessary in the "pigeon food" section. I didn't even know there were pigeon fanciers in East Germany. I always thought it a strictly Ken Loach kind of occupation. Apparently, I was wrong. Because there, in lovely wooden hoppers, a fine array of all sorts of interesting fancy things for pigeon-fanicers.
Amongst them, as you have already guessed, dear reader, at 1.95€ per kilo, red Sorghum seed.
So I bought 30¢'s worth. Which I reckon is about 5,000 seeds. Feel free to fact check that if you like - the picture is above!
This year, then, for the first time ever, I shall be growing a lovely selection of grains on the barracks. That is, first time ever anywhere. I did grow a tiny quantity of wheat once, and I've done a bit of quinoa from time to time. But in 2021, the full run down of the grains at the barracks is planned to be:
Now I just need to figure out where I am going to put it all.