La Zafra – The Harvesting, 9 K

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“Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz, Memories of its Surroundings”

Sugar cane is one of the crops that the Arabs brought from India and introduced into the Mediterranean; molasses is extracted which once it has been cooked and filtered forms crystals used to sweeten drinks and food: sugar. These canes that are still grown in large extensions demanded a great amount of hand labor; they had to move from their homes to the zones of large farming and cane fields. These trips were sometimes very long and were called “zafra”, from the Arabian (çafra= trip).
Sugar cane is a tropical gramineae. Its thick and fibrous stalk can be up to two to five meters high with a diameter of five to six centimeters. Its root is made up of a sturdy rhizome that extends and grows underground. Its leaves can be as long as four meters. It is in its stalk where a juice rich in saccharine accumulates which is extracted and crystallized in the sugar mill into the form of sugar. The plant synthesizes the saccharine thanks to the energy provided by the sun during photosynthesis. In the upper part of the plant is the panocha which is about thirty centimeters long.
This tropical plant develops best in hot and sunny places, because the temperature, humidity and luminosity are factors which favor its growth. When these conditions are predominant the sugar cane reaches a vegetative growth and photosynthesis takes place, producing carbohydrates of a high molecular weight, such as cellulose and other matters which make up the foliage and the fibrous support of the stalk.
The adequate amount of water is also of great importance in the development of the cane, because it allows the absorption, transportation and assimilation of the nutrients. It grows successfully in most soils; these must contain organic matter, have a good external and internal drainage and a pH that ranges between 5.5 and 7.8. Good results are obtained in silty and sandy soil.

Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz: http://www.facebook.com/delapantle.

Muebles Zeromadera: http://www.ramsol.com

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