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'Tixey Mesego' Sorghum
'Tixey Mesego' Sorghum
'Tixey Mesego' Sorghum

'Tixey Mesego' Sorghum

Regular price $4.00 Sale

Sorghum bicolor subsp. bicolor

Origin: Tixey, Beledweyne, Hiiran Province, Somalia

Improvement status: Landrace

Seeds per packet: ~40

Germination tested 12/2023: 68%

Life cycle: Annual

EFN INTRODUCTION. Despite our obvious obsession with sorghum — the gluten-free African staple grown in every continent except Antarctica — this is the first sorghum we've ever offered from Somalia, which is part of the Horn of Africa region (along with Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda) where sorghum is believed to have been domesticated. "Mesego" is one of many Somalian words that simply means sorghum — he USDA has 90 sorghum varieties bearing the same name — so we've added the geographic descriptor "Tixey" to this one.

In full transparency, we are not entirely certain this sorghum comes from the small village of Tixey, because when it was collected by two agronomists (one Indian and one Italian) in August of 1979, they recorded its location as "Tehai, 18km S of Belet Huen, Hiran." The problem is that there's no record of any place called "Tehai" existing. But close examination of a map of the Hiran administrative region (or "gobol"), which is located due north of Mogadishu, revealed a town called "Tixey" south of the city of Beledwynne (the modern English spelling of "Belet Huen"). Given there seem to be no other towns with a name anywhere close to "Tehai" anywhere in that general vicinity, we are reasonably sure we've gotten it right.

This is a durra-type grain sorghum with a tightly packed panicle (grain head) of reddish-brown seeds. The stalk is relatively dry, but also sweet, so it's good for chewing on, though not a great candidate for pressing and making syrup. According to USDA evaluations, this variety is resistant to a number of diseases that can plague sorghun, including ladder spot, zonate leaf spot, sugarcane mosaic virus, and downy mildew.

Our seed was grown by our dear friends Mud Forte and Harry Matthews in Sicklerville, NJ.

GROWING TIPS: Direct-sow a couple weeks after all danger of frost has passed, once the soil has warmed up, or start in flats a couple weeks before last frost (especially in short-season areas). This variety is not super day-length sensitive, but may fail to ripen in the northernmost parts of the US. Space plants 1 foot apart.