Harvesting the sugar cane (December)

Late November and December is the time for harvesting sugar cane. The reason is that a late harvest increases the sugar content of sugar cane.

Although this kind of sugar cane is generally easy to handle during the sugar making process, harvesting is quite a painstaking task. At present it is impossible to harvest with machines. As the above picture shows, the work is all done by hand.

The harvesting process includes "uprooting the sugar cane", "peeling the skin called Shibu", "cutting off the top", "slicing off the root with a sickle", all of which require hard work.

What makes it interesting and different from others is that sugar cane is not cut but uprooted. We cut as close as possible to the root since the area closest to the root is the sweetest, and especially since "chikuto" is thin and does not grow as tall as other kinds of sugar cane.

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