Sorghum, M61 Perennial (Organic)
Sorghum bicolor. 110 days.
We received this beautiful grain from our friend Tim Peters back in 2005 when we drove around the back roads of Douglas County, Oregon collecting samples from his guerrilla perennial grain breeding projects. We saw many perennialized clumps growing back year after year and were intrigued. Although we have succeeded growing M61 Perennial as an annual, we have struggled to produce it as a true perennial. However, we know it is possible under the right conditions, because our friend Nate Kleinman of the Experimental Farm Network has successfully grown this variety as a perennial in New Jersey. M61 Perennial Sorghum is believed to have been selected from an interspecific hybrid between Sorghum bicolor and Sorghum halepense. Some plants have plump, light-orange, easy to thresh grain, while others have a more tightly clasping glume and may be optimally used for cover crop and/or compost biomass production. Sorghum originated in Africa and typically has been produced as an annual. As a grain it is one of the most important food crops on the planet. We are very grateful to be able to pass this experimental grain with permaculture potential on to others. Please let us know how it grows for you.
Sorghum does best when direct sown 1/4” deep, spaced at 10”-12” centers. May also be transplanted. Plant as early in the season as possible, when soil has warmed and danger of frost has passed.
Harvest and Seed Saving
Harvest for grain or seed when seed heads are dry. Save seed from 10 – 20 plants. Test for dryness with a hammer; dry kernels shatter. Thresh by hand or by dancing. No isolation is necessary for this self-pollinating corn relative.