Broom Corn: Not Your Everyday Corn on the Cob| Updated: May 15, 2019
I posted a picture of a corn seedling two weeks ago, and I am happy to report that the one seedling in that picture is still growing strong! One other corn seedling survived transplanting into the garden, but unfortunately, only those two made it through the extreme heat long enough to take root.
My kids were getting excited about the corn that was growing as we were anticipating throwing the cobs into the fire pit in the backyard and roasting them. Corn on the cob roasted in a fire is absolutely delicious if you haven’t tried it before!
I started to do a little research on broom corn, however, and discovered that broom corn is not a variety of corn on the cob. As it turns out, broom corn has more decorative and industrial uses than for eating.
Broom Corn is Not a Corn At All
Even more surprising, broom corn is not a corn at all but a plant related to the sorghums used for grains and syrup. You certainly don’t pop it like popcorn.
The head of broom corn is very fibrous and has been used for hundreds of years to make, you guessed it, BROOMS! It takes about 60 heads to make one broom, so given that I have only two seedlings growing and not enough room in my garden to grow 58 more, it seems making a broom with the kids is out of the question!
The vibrant color variety of the seeds in the broom head make broom corn ideal for inclusion with wreaths and floral/autumnal arrangements.
My big question is, can you eat broom corn? I was thinking I could take the seeds and dry them and pop them into popcorn but perhaps this wouldn’t work as broom corn is not really even corn.
Broom corn is used in bird seed, so perhaps I can use it in my bird feeder.
If any of you have any additional ideas, please share!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Since 2002, Sarah has been a Health and Nutrition Educator dedicated to helping families effectively incorporate the principles of ancestral diets within the modern household.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, her work has been covered by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.