Sorrel Production County Demonstration Kicks Off in Fort Bend County
July 22 – Hibiscus Sabdariffa, a medicinal plant commonly referred to as Sorrel, has been grown on the Prairie View A&M University farm for the past number of years. Cooperative Extension Program staff and Cooperative Agricultural Research Center scientists have been conducting research to help limited resources producers grow this crop to make a profit and increase their income. While most of the research and production activities have been going on campus, extension staff have now expanded their production activities through planting demonstrations in the counties with the hopes of making a bigger impact across the state of Texas. The first sorrel production county demonstration and workshop was recently held on July 8th, 2019 in Missouri City, Texas, a suburb of Southwest Houston. Extension Program Specialist Dr. Kesha Henry, Extension Agent Mr. Derrick Banks, and Program Specialist Mr. Willie DeWalt organized the event. Over 20 participants attended and were excited to get started and establish sorrel production on their own land.
The program included an overview presentation on sorrel production, the benefits, profitability, and economics of growing the plant, soil conservation practices such as growing cover crops, and access to funding opportunities and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources. The program ended with a tour of the garden and participants were able to plant sorrel. The sorrel plot that was planted is expected to be ready for harvesting and marketing by this November. Follow up visits will be done to monitor the production, and planting demonstrations will continue in Waller, Harris, Houston, Willacy, Bowie and other counties where producers are interested.
All of the participants who completed the survey stated that they expect to benefit economically as a direct result of participating in the program, and 92% have increased their knowledge about the benefits of growing Sorrel. An outstanding 85% of the participants stated that they intend to adopt production and marketing practices learned during the workshop.
If you haven’t had a chance to get familiar with the sorrel plant or the popular drink made from the plant, be sure to ask about it with CEP Agriculture and Natural Resources Unit in the Carden-Waller Building or visit the Governor Bill and Vera Daniel Farm.
This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1890 Extension Formula Program projects under Section 1444.