Friday, October 23, 2009

Clean Sweep at Lippitt Farm

There are a lot of traditional crops at the Lippit Farm. This year saw winter rye, wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, corn and hay grown in the fields. But there was a less know crop as well: broom corn! The Westcott Shop houses a broom-making shop. Broom corn is a relative to sorghum, and the part used to make brooms is the bushy seed-bearing fan at the top of the plant.

Here is crop in the field. It looks much like most corn crops, but take note the fan of fibers at the top of the plant. When the corn is ripe the tops are bent over while still on the plant. This speeds the drying process to create a usable product to make brooms. Broom corn drying in the field would have been a common sight in the 19th century. Broom-making, like most trades, produced a local product for sale in the immediate area.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin