Learning About Sugar Cane First Hand
DOGWOOD VINEYARDS, SUGAR CANE HARVEST 2021
David Youngblood lives on a parcel of his family farm where he was raised in Baker, Florida. He is one of six children who grew up on this plot of land. In every direction there are rich memories. Memories of syrup making, memories of the different fruits and vegetables they grew as the seasons changed.
A couple other farm hands and myself were lucky enough
to be invited to visit David's family farm, which today is known as Dogwood Vineyards. It is an absolutely beautiful farm that possesses several acres of muscadine grape vines. You can also see the family sugar cane mill where they made syrup for 65 years. There is a very large pond which is partially lined with sugar cane. David, his dog, Manard, family and friends dove hunt here during the fall season.
Doug, Hailea and myself came out to the farm today to learn first hand about sugar cane. We harvested a load to take back to our market. It's hard work, unless you don't do it all of the time. We had a blast learning about the different varieties of sugar cane. We sampled each one as David explained to us the differences. The red sugar cane variety was soft and easy to chew. The Yellow Girl is an old variety which grows well here. Some varieties are much sweeter than others. It was all very interesting to us.
David possesses a wealth of information regarding the heritage of raising sugar cane and producing syrup. We listened and learned as he explained to us how to plant sugar cane. I did not realize you have to replant sugar cane every 3 to 4 years The cane simply thins out. He showed us how you cut up the mature cane for "seed stalk". Trenches are dug and the pieces are planted and covered. It's actually quite easy to plant. It starts coming up in about months time and it takes a year to mature.
David no longer operates the family cane syrup mill. I have included a picture of the mill in action from 2018 when it was last used. As we get older we all have to look at simplifying our lives.
Today he focuses primarily on his muscadine grapes. He has a large vineyard of several acres that keeps him busy. Times have changed but the family legacy is alive and well.
We are grateful David continues to grow sugar cane along with his grapes. He makes it available for us to offer here at The Farm. Perhaps this is the beginning of our own Farmily tradition.
WHAT"S LOCAL AT THE FARM THIS WEEK:
SAND MOUNTAIN TOMATOES
LION'S MAIN AND BLUE OYSTER MUSHROOMS
HYDRAPONIC BIBB LETTUCE
HDRYOPONIC GREEN BEANS CLEANED AND TRIMMED
MOON DROP SAPHIRE GRAPES IS A SPECIAL BUY FOR THIS WEEKEND (CALIFORNIA GROWN)
We have plenty of pumpkins and other Fall items such as Haye Bales and Corn Stalks.
COMING SOON LOCAL COLLARD GREENS
FLORIDA CITRUS WILL BE IN NOVEMBER