“Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz, Memories of its Surroundings”
Sugar cane reproduces by planting pieces of the stalk or cuttings from the middle and healthy part of the cane, between six and nine months old and preferably with three yolks, being careful of the orientation in order to obtain more sunlight. It is also necessary to be careful how deep the cane-seed is planted, because of this depends the germination and the early development of the plants. This can be done manually using a hoe, with animal traction or mechanically. It should be planted between 20 and 25 cms deep, with a distance of 1.30 to 1.50 meters between the rows.
Harvesting is done when the stalks have finished developing, the leaves wither and fall off and the bark gets brittle; that is about eleven to sixteen months after planting. Although there are several machines to cut the cane the harvesting is generally done manually. A large steel machete with a wooden handgrip with a small hook in the upper part and a fifty centimeter long and thirteen centimeter wide blade is used for this. The plant is cut close to the floor and is cut in its upper part, close to the last ripe knot. The canes that have been cut are piled along the field, they are picked by hand or by machine and are transported to the sugar mill to crush the stems and extract the sugar with powerful steel rollers. At the same time they are submitted to the action of water to dilute the juice which contains about 90% saccharine. The juice is treated with lime in order to remove its impurities and heated so that these precipitate. A more concentrated substance is obtained by evaporation which is boiled so that it crystallizes. Once the crystals are cool the molasses is refined. Finally the crystals are dissolved in hot water and passed through carbon columns that discolor them.
Hacienda del Apantle de la Santa Cruz: http://www.facebook.com/delapantle.
Muebles Zeromadera: http://www.ramsol.com