Sunday, November 3, 2013
Making sugar, part one....
This year I grew sugar beet for the first time, and this is the patch which has has most of the leaves cut off and fed to the sheep. I have never tried to make sugar but I thought that it would be fun, although rather time consuming!
We have a mother and daughter staying with us at the moment and this picture shows Antonia with a rather larger sugar beet! She has loved cutting all the leaves and feeding them to the sheep!
A while ago we inherited an old machine from the neighbours farm which was used to make potato flour, or potato starch. We are not sure exactly what it does, but thought that it would be worth a try to see if it could grate the sugar beets up. It took quite a lot of cleaning and scrubbing with wire brushes, and it only got the worst of the rust off! The picture below shows the machine with out it's top on.
Here is a sugar beet in the top:
This is the lovely old sign on the side of the box top.
And here is the mess which resulted! It just smeared the sugar beet around the drum! Never mind, it was worth a go!!
On a trip to a loppis back in the summer I bought a couple of the knives you can see here in the picture below. The old man also gave me the old chopping board which was used with the knives. First we sliced the sugar beets into 1cm - 2cm discs then set to work chopping them up.
It was remarkably successful as you can see! I will be using this method for chopping up the fodder beets for the sheep in the winter. You can easily tip it into a bucket.
We chopped up the small left overs and gave a small amount to the sheep as a taster. They liked it!
All we have to do with the sugar beet is to boil it up, take out the lumps, then boil it down. That will be in part 2. It so far has been pretty labour intensive and I guess I will continue buying sugar from the stores, but it has been fun so far!!!
Check out this film on making sugar dating from 1923. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlJ57-O3Cjc