Broom Millet Scrubbing Brushes

Sep 27, 2016

luffa vine and use this in the bathroom and kitchen. In more tropical climates, people use coconut husk. Alas, it’s a tad cold in cool temperate Tasmania for either of those plants – hence our enthusiasm when Anton’s mum gifted us with a little broom millet (Sorghum bicolor) scrubbing bush all the way from (very cold) Sweden. 12189966_1046865085347736_5391819026168380238_n We promptly went about sourcing some seed so we could grow our own, and one year later we now have our own little batch of broom millet scrubbing brushes. Here’s the full journey in pictures…

12814170_1105742886126622_5899092105589912269_nBroom millet grows up to around 3m

13178584_1154314151269495_5849002741447914003_nHarvesting and cleaning with Frida Maria.

13124724_1149357191765191_3436995366471048251_nHanging to dry in our kitchen.

Once you’ve grown, harvested and dried the seed heads thrash the seeds off the plant and save it for eating and/or for growing for next seasons (that’s what we’ll be doing). THEN… Cut it into desired lengths and form a nice little bunch in your hand. Next you simply have to tie some string around it to keep it all together. We recommend using a waxed string as this repels water, preventing the string from becoming smelly with excess water hanging on. img_6633   I just went ahead and roughly wrapped the string around and tied ten knots to keep it on. Then Anton walked into the room and proceeded to wow me with one of his sailor knots where it’s beautifully neat, you can’t see the finished knot and it’s approximately 100 times stronger than mine…. So I think you should know about it. First, use some rubber bands (or equivalent) to keep your millet in place. Then lay the string out as seen below. img_6648 Next, start wrapping your string neatly around your bunch, leaving the loop exposed at one end (the right in this case). . img_6649 Once you’re happy with the amount of wraps (i.e. run out of string), put the end you’re working with through the exposed loop. Gently and slowly, pull the other loose end of string (shown on the left in the photo below) until you’re pulling the looped end under the wrapped area. By doing this, you’re making a knot which ties off the whole thing. img_6650 You’ll be left with two bits of string sticking out from either end of the wrapped area – just chop them off, remove the rubber bands and you’re done! . img_6651

img_6652The finished product

The patch of broom millet we grew was around 3m x 2m with approximately 25 plants. Of those plants, some seed heads were lost to birds and some didn’t form overly well. We ended up with seven scrubbing brushes from around 15 plants.

.

But interestingly, one scrubbing brush will last for over one year – we’re still using ours that was gifted to us well over a year ago. I’ve had to replace its’ string once, but otherwise the fibre is incredibly strong and still going. Technically this means we have over seven years of scrubbing brushes in the photo below!

img_6637We trialled some different shapes (short and long) to see what we prefer.

Please note, all the bunches above are tied together using my slap dash technique and they’ve since been re-done using Anton’s sailor knot as shown earlier in this post. The green string (seen above) is hemp which works fairly well, however we prefer waxed string which repels water and therefor lasts longer. While it took a while, we’re now very sorted in the scrubbing brush department. Say goodbye weird plastic products and hello compostable, uber local and satisfying resources! img_6641  ]]>

your thoughts:

3 Comments

  1. Fiona Cheng

    My Swedish mother in law used to use those millet brushes to stir things on the stove. Usually sauces. I never saw her use it to clean but I can imagine it works well. Thanks for showing us how they’re made!

    Reply
  2. Pete

    I remember the big millet brooms we used to sweep with, and a mini version without a wooden (mini) broomstick for small jobs like benches. Never seen such a small version for washing up – what a great idea!! I didn’t give much thought to the nylon scrubbers, most likely use several a year. Multiply that by all the households in Oz using them – that’s a helluva lot of plastic sitting in tip waste for years. Thanks for your insight and instructions. – Pete

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      No worries Pete – glad it was useful for you!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You might also like…

Home Harvest: Thoughts & A Virtual Tour 2023

Home Harvest: Thoughts & A Virtual Tour 2023

Home Harvest is an edible garden trail around nipaluna/Hobart that we started in collaboration with the City of Hobart in 2020. Here’s some images and videos (further below) from 2023 to give you a taster! Over 700 people took themselves around to some incredibly diverse edible gardens and just had such a great time. Talking […]

Home Harvest 2023: Host Call Out!

Home Harvest 2023: Host Call Out!

We’re happy to announce we’re working with Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania to hold our fourth annual “Home Harvest” garden tour in the nipaluna/Hobart region!  Special thanks to the City of Hobart for funding this great initiative. Home Harvest is going to be a one day event on Sunday March 19th, 2023 in and around nipaluna/Hobart where […]

Crowdsourcing Photos For My New Book!

Crowdsourcing Photos For My New Book!

Hi Friends, I’m in the process of writing my second book about how to grow food in any climate in Australia (due out late 2023 with Affirm Press). As it’s covering the whole, vast country I would so very dearly love to include photos of edible gardens in different climates to show folks what’s possible […]

How To Make a Fancy Clutch From Scraps

How To Make a Fancy Clutch From Scraps

I recently went to the TV Week Logies with dear Costa, representing the wonderful Gardening Australia. While we didn’t win our category, we did have a lot of fun celebrating gardening. Costa Georgiadis and I on the red carpet! Yes, he does fit perfectly in my armpit nook. We also had a lot of fun […]

Home Harvest 2022

Home Harvest 2022

We’ve just wrapped up our third Home Harvest. It was so good that I’m sharing it with you here. But first, what even is it?? Funded by the City of Hobart and supported by Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania, Home Harvest is a one day self guided edible garden tour around the nipaluna/Hobart […]

Home Harvest Host Call Out!

Home Harvest Host Call Out!

We’re happy to announce we’re working with Eat Well Tasmania and Sustainable Living Tasmania to hold our third annual “Home Harvest” garden tour in the Hobart region!  Special thanks to the City of Hobart for funding this great initiative. Home Harvest is going to be a one day event on Saturday March 5th, 2022 in and around Hobart where […]

The Hot Box

The Hot Box

When it comes to energy efficient hacks, the humble hot box is as simple as it gets. The hot box is exactly what it sounds like, and is how you can cook quite a lot of your food after being initially heated on the stove for a short time. But why bother? Australian households are […]

6 Hacks For Easy Chook Keeping

6 Hacks For Easy Chook Keeping

If you’re looking to start keeping chickens, or are wanting to tweak and refine your current system, this video is for you. I’ve summarised just six hacks which will transform you and your chicken’s lives and included some more links to other highly useful things you can do in the resources list at the end […]

Food Forests

Food Forests

Come for a tour of a few of our small food forests to learn what they are, the plants we’ve included and how they play a key role in our steep landscape. This is the 11th video in our Good Life For All series. Each Monday I’ll pop up a video to help inspire folks […]

Worm Farm Tour

Worm Farm Tour

As part of our Good Life For All videos we’re uploading to Youtube weekly, I filmed a little tour of our large worm farm to show folks how it works and why we love it so much. Enjoy! DID YOU KNOW: Keeping food scraps out of landfill and returning them to the Earth isn’t just […]

Winter Property Tour

Winter Property Tour

A collection of videos to explore our garden and life. This video is a winter property tour so you can get a sense of where we are and what we’re doing. There’s still so much to do on our property – but it’s already punching above its weight, providing us (and our loved ones) with food […]