How many times have you tried explaining to people what you do for a living?
'I craft brooms.'
'Well first you need some high quality broomcorn...'
On our side, we like to say we are broomcorn dealers. A business that started back in the 1900s by my grandfather who shipped broomcorn across the US by train or delivered by horse and cart.
So what is broomcorn? By Google's definition you find..
But that doesn't really cover the all the intricate detail that a broomcorn dealer must know. What does the plant look like? Where is best broomcorn grown? What type of broomcorn makes the world's best and beautiful broom?
Let's dig a little deeper.
If you drove by a broomcorn field, you might think it was just an acre of sweet corn stalks. The sweet corn stalks like broomcorn are both part of the sorghum genus which is part of the grass family.
The broomcorn seeds grow beyond the stalk of the 6-9' plant into lengthy sturdy fibers which are harvested by hand. Due to the labor extensive process, most broomcorn is now harvested in Mexico where the dry and hot climate is also ideal.
Broomcorn is harvested as either 'raw' corn or 'processed hurl'. Raw broomcorn has been cleaned but left with 'flowers' in the wavy tip and the stalk is completely attached. Processed hurl has the stalk completely removed and cleaned entirely.
Part 2 will cover how someone takes the natural fibers and converts into the beautiful and functional brooms that people have been making for generations.