Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mississippi Sesame Crop

According to the 9/20/13 Clarksdale Press Register, Mississippi farms are planting sesame for the first time. “Thomas Jefferson said the sesame seed ‘is among the most valuable acquisitions our country has ever made.’”

I love them. We eat a lot of hummus with fresh veggies and sauté with it. I see them on hamburger buns and crackers. I’ve bought jars of toasted and plain for salads. Halva is worth traveling miles for. We bought it in the refrigerated section of a Middle Eastern store in Omaha, NE. Krysia and I would slice off tiny slivers and eat them unadorned. La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil is in my cupboard. The label states, “Handcrafted in Japan with 270 years of tradition.” I could leave a bowl of oil out all the time. The fragrance strikes a deep note of satisfaction and reminds me of hot dry days, something we don’t have in Mississippi, simplicity, minimalism, natural fibers, dates and figs, huge tents with Persian rugs on the sand, Sultans, belly dancers, and camels - a mini-vacation.

CPR, "In Middle Eastern and Asian countries sesame seeds are a staple that is hand-picked. The US has few growers which requires importing 75%. McDonald’s is looking for American grown seed. Thanks to some recent engineering, a new variety of sesame that was developed around the turn of the last century now exists and this variety has a thicker pod that doesn’t easily break apart. They are drought tolerant, so it didn’t matter that the summer was long and dry. They can be harvested by machine."

One of the growers brought a sesame plant to church this morning. It stood about 4' high with numberous branches covered with pods about 4" apart. A pod has four chambers of 10 seeds each. He said he will harvest them with the same combine head he uses for soybeans.

Go growers! I am crossing my fingers and stacking up prayers for you.

2013 Red Convertible Travel Series

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