Sesame is one of the three crops we grow for oil production, apart from mustard and sunflower. We also love eating sesame as til ke laddoo - a local sweetmeat and delicacy made with sesame seeds and jaggery. Sesame also has many health benefits, like it being rich in protein and calcium, good for diabetics, and reduced high blood pressure, cholesterol and osteoporosis.
Sesame is sown post monsoon. It cannot survive heavy rains, or extreme cold. Thus it is planted at the end of the rainy season and harvested just short of the winter. It does not require a lot of water, and can be grown in low water areas as well. The seed is simply broadcast in the fields.
The crop is harvested when the lower leaves start dying, but before the entire plant dries out. If the plant it completely dried in the field, the risk of the losing the seed to a capsule burst is very real. Therefore the plant should be cut from the base before it dries completely, and allowed to stand in the sun for 7-8 days to dry up completely.
Once dry, it is beaten with sticks to thresh out the seeds. It takes a few repeated beatings to get all the seeds out!
No special care or disease management is required for this crop. Standard use of jeevamrut and agnihastra is followed by us at Aanandaa.