28 November 2013

Sugarcane harvesting

Learnt something new from our local friend Jorge. We were driving thru dirt roads into the countryside where we saw cantaloupe farming. First time in my life. But the more interesting part was how they were harvesting their sugarcane.

The simply set the fields on fire!!! Evidently the leaves of sugarcane are very sharp. Making it difficult to harvest by hand. And sugarcane fields have a lot of rats. Which invariably brings a lot of snakes. So, they just go ahead and set their sugarcane fields on fire!

What I did not know is that while everything else gets burnt, the sugarcane bark is thick enough that nothing happens to the sugarcane itself!!!

But now the sugarcane has to be transported and processed within 24 hours. The sugarcane is unharmed but very warm which will set in motion the fermentation process soon.

So, I asked Jorge “what happens if the farmer gets delayed, for whatever reason”
Jorge: “Oh! They make alcohol”

That was a simple solution!!! πŸ™‚

I am quite sure in India though, I have seen farmers harvesting sugarcane with sharp sickles in their hands. I think Costa Rican farmers are too lazy πŸ™‚

Posted November 28, 2013 by Rajib Roy in category "Vacations


  1. By Rupa Bamba on

    Yikes! Does it mean that the rats and snakes are burnt alive? I hate both rats and snakes but the thought of them being roasted alive is not sitting well with me πŸ™

  2. By Somya Chaudhary on

    Same principle in India too! I remember it having soot all over, that we’d have to wash or scrub before eating or we’d get it all over out faces.


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