Monday, October 8, 2012

Field Trip to the Sorghum Molasses Farm

     Today the family got bundled up and drove the five minutes to the Sorghum farm. Of course they don't just harvest sorghum here, they build sheds, sell firewood, have a produce stand, an ENORMOUS garden, and also harvest maple syrup as well. They are quite the busy family if you ask me. And we were quite the fascinated family as we were introduced to the process.

My Sister Holding the Little Amish Boy.
Sorghum Cane Ready to be Pressed
Run by Horse Power
     The team of horses pull a long pole round and round a mechanism with two wheels that revolve into one another. The canes are shoved between the wheels, pressed dry, and comes out flat. The juice is then harvested, filtered, and sent through a hose to the boiling shed.

The Flattened De-juiced Cane
You Would Never Have Guessed That That Green Juice is Really Molasses
Steam the green away!
    Moil lasses is not as hard to boil down as maple syrups is. Where maple syrup is forty gallons of sap to one gallon of syrup, sorghum is seven gallons of juice to one gallon of molasses.    

The Roof of the Boiling Shed
Keeping the Fire Hot
    The fire has to be kept so hot that when you load it you have to wear a mask so your face isn't burned. Just standing by it when they open the door is a warming ordeal.

Sweet Goodness!
    When the molasses is the right consistency it weaves it's way through the channels and drips into the pot. When the pot is full it's replaced and poured into yet another strainer. Because the process is such a messy one the sorghum is strained seven times at nearly every stage.
    Then it is poured into jars and let to cool on the shelf. It is almost as thin as syrup when it's warm, but once it's cool it's the consistency of thick honey.

Pouring the Sorghum into the Strainer
From Green to Gold!
    What an educational and fun adventure. I know I learned a lot. Maybe, one of these days, our family will try our hand at sorghum pressing? Now wouldn't that be fun?

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