- GrowNYC Education
This year one of the new things we are trying to grow in the Teaching Garden is Sesame!
Here are our sesame seedlings, which we started indoors in March. They will be transplanted out in the garden soon, and covered with row cover for 4-6 weeks until overnight temperatures stay a bit warmer.
These babies will grow to 3 or 4 feet tall and begin flowering by July.
Sesame plants don’t need much water – we will water them roughly once a week until the pods are ripe and begin to split open, or until the weather begins to get cold again – whichever happens first! They take about 100 days to mature after being transplanted into the garden.
We will then cut the whole plant down and lay them flat to dry. After they dry, we can harvest sesame seeds from the pods!
Sesame is a flowering plant that is cultivated on a wide scale for its seeds which grow in pods. Sesame is an incredibly old crop and is believed to be domesticated well over 3000 years ago! Sesame is typically grown in tropical areas and is native to parts of Africa and India among other places. In addition to Sesame’s delicious seeds that can be eaten on their own, it’s seeds have one of the highest oil contents of any seed and are often pressed to make oil. Additionally, you can grind sesame seeds into a paste to make a butter called Tahini! In this video we will show you how to make your own tahini.
Never used tahini before and not sure how to?
Tahini has a very nutty flavor with a kind of bitter, earthy undertone. You can enjoy tahini in many ways! On its own drizzled over apples or sweet potatoes, as a base for a dressing, or in dips like hummus. Add lemon juice or vinegar to tahini for a creamy dressing for salads or greens. Tahini is also a main ingredient in hummus (which we will show you how to make in our next blog post, stay tuned!).