'Nerum Boer' Sorghum
'Nerum Boer' Sorghum
'Nerum Boer' Sorghum

'Nerum Boer' Sorghum

Regular price $4.00 Sale

Sorghum bicolor subsp. bicolor

Origin: Malakal, South Sudan

Improvement status: Landrace

Seeds per packet: ~85

Germination tested 12/2023: 66%

Life cycle: Annual

EFN INTRODUCTION. We are very excited to be offering this seed for the first time in many years. 'Nerum Boer' can be considered the fraternal twin of 'Coral', similar in most every way except for its brown seeds ('Coral' is purple). Also from the Shilluk people of the war-torn city of Malakal, South Sudan, this is similarly a beautiful sorghum with many uses. The large brown grains can be popped like popcorn, boiled or steamed like rice or barley, ground into flour, brewed into beer, or cracked and cooked like polenta. Harvested when the grains are still green, they can be hand-threshed and cooked almost like a green vegetable (akin to sweet corn), producing a chewy, sweet, savory delight. This preparation is considered a delicacy in South Sudan. (In India, green sorghum is also a delicacy, called "ponk", and often combined with chickpea flour to make special fritters.) This variety also has very sweet canes which can be pressed for juice to make sorghum syrup. 

'Nerum Boer' is very drought-resistant and grows well even in marginal soil. We've found its ripening unpredictable, seeming to depend on the timing of rainfall more than day-length or other factors. Some years it ripens many weeks before first frost, while in other years it barely makes it on time. Like 'Coral,' in some years and in some locations it is highly tillering, producing four or five (or even more) stalks, each with their own full panicle (seed head). The plants grow from 8 to 15 ft tall.

This seed was grown by EFN co-founder Nate Kleinman at the EFN flagship farm in Elmer, New Jersey.

NOTE: The germination rate on this sorghum is relatively low for a fresh batch of seed. This is primarily because we had to put paper bags over the panicles as the seed was ripening to prevent bird predation (which was never a problem for us in Elmer until we tried to grow millet one year: the birds destroyed the millet, and afterwards set their sights on sorghum, which hasn't been safe from them since). The bags kept the seeds a bit too moist and some of them sprouted prematurely. But there's certainly enough good seed in each packet for you to get a nice crop and be able to save plenty of seed for next year!

GROWING TIPS: Start in flats a week or two before last frost, or direct-seed after all danger of frost has passed. If direct-seeding, space plants at least a foot apart and plant seeds one inch deep. If bird predation becomes a problem, cover seed heads with a paper bag secured with a paper clip or binder clip.