I love hand made brooms. At various craft fairs they always catch my attention and I usually buy one. They are both beautiful and utilitarian. Shown in this wall display are brooms purchased from others.
A few years ago while on a trip to colonial Williamsburg, seeds for broomcorn were purchased, sorghum vulgare.
The seeds germinated easily in the sunroom/greenhouse. After all danger of frost had passed the baby plants were planted in the garden and grew quickly.
Research from various sources online helped one to know when to cut the tasseled tops, how to dry them and how to make a broom.
This is the very first broom made by yours truly. It has several flaws but that is how one learns.
The tops of the plants were allowed to get too long and twisting resulted. The stitching is a little sloppy. Several more were made and given to friends and family.
Ignore the date on this photo, it is not correct. This was taken January 6, 2008. Sorry about that. Anyway, the three brooms to the right of the door were made with the shorter pieces leftover from full size broom making that were harvested from that one and only planting. To make a proper broom, the strands need to be ten inches before the seeds appear. I really like the seeds on the strands though and don’t trim them off like professional broom makers do. Mistakenly it was thought that the seeds for broom corn would be easy to find. The broom is harvested for use before the seeds have a chance to mature on the plant so those are not viable. Seed was ordered from the usual places but it was always the dried flower kind, not broom making kind. Several attempts to grow more of this type of broom have been for naught. The strands were always too short for broom making. No more broom making.
This is a closeup of the broom on the left in the picture with the door. The braided part is longer than usual and the handle is thick twisted honeysuckle vine. That is part of the fun, finding a nice piece of wood for the handles.
Harvested broom that is for dried flowers not brooms is shown here with red and black broom accents. Note how the seeds are close to the stalk stem, no long strands like brooms need to have.
The reason for this post, besides showing off the brooms is that seeds for the correct plant, sorghum vulgare, were found and ordered from Chiltern Seeds. If all goes well there will additions to the broom collection.