Millet, Auksés (Organic)
Setaria italica. Foxtail millet.
Foxtail millet is the type used for bird food. Small seeds have yellow hulls that must be removed before humans can eat it (not an easy task). Very easy to grow, but difficult to save seed from unless you have zero birds in your garden (but who would want that?!). Try using it as a cut flower, feeding it to chickens and ducks, or fermenting it into beer. Given to The Seed Ambassadors Project by The Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture in Dotnuva, Lithuania. The breeder there had been working with millets since long before the collapse of the Soviet Union and he said the birds at the zoo prefer his varieties.
Direct sow to 2”- 6” centers in weed free, well prepared soil mid-May to early July, or when danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed to 65°F. Millet is frost sensitive. Fertility and irrigation needs are low.
Harvest and Seed Saving
Harvest for grain or seed saving when seeds are dry and plants are no longer green. The birds will tell you when the seed is ripe. Dance, rub, or flail seeds from seedhead. Winnow to clean. Millet is primarily self-pollinating, only minimal isolation is required for seed saving.