High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives Sep 22 1974, Page 51

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - September 22, 1974, High Point, North Carolina Anne Beeson Kay Davis and Kathy Davis members of from the mature Cane crop. After stripping the Cane James Turner left and d. S. Davis on tractor use Cedar Square friends meeting begin the lengthy Plant must be topped. An old time Corn Binder to collect the Cane from the molasses production process by stripping the fodder Fields. Turner is one of the organizers of the sorghum venture intended to raise Money for the Cedar Square friends meeting recreation up stripped topped and bound Cane goes into the Back of a dump truck for the Short trip from the Cedar Square Cane raising plot to the Artemus Freeman farm near milling Cedar Square friends feed the Cane into the Mill for grinding the juice flows from the Mill As pictured above into a Strainer. Operating the machine Are left to right Boger Beeson Harold Beeson. George Stanton d. S. Davis James Cockman and Hurley evaporator Pete Beeson front acts As fireman Here controlling the flow of sorghum juice from the spigot and stoking the Furnace. The juice becomes thicker As it proceeds downhill through the tub High Point Enterprise sunday morning september 22, 1974. Section d enterprising Church group raises Cane evaporator s pans. Others pictured Here Are from left Harold Beeson James Turner Chester Beele Terry Davis Artemus Freeman Eugene Coltrane and James Cockman. By Ven Carver Enterprise staff writer youth at Cedar Square friends meeting have spent the whole summer raising Cane. W the Cane now being harvested is sorghum. Juice from it is cooked until thick Brown and viscous. Poured into jars the product appears on the table As molasses a condiment indispensable for truly Savouring homemade Buttermilk biscuits. Actually the youth at the Small Randolph county Church Arentt the Only participants in the molasses venture. The idea for it originated with two adults James Turner and Hurley Hinshaw who serve As youth directors. It is one of several projects undertaken to liquidate a $5,800 mortgage on Tennis and basketball courts built last year on the Church grounds. Quot we started on it a year ago last Spring a Turner recalls. The Cane grown last season however was t nearly so Bountiful As the current crop. Most of the fund raising efforts then were of the conventional Type a for instance having the youth hire themselves out to a Farmer for a Days labor. Following the moderate Success of the molasses project last year Turner and Hinshaw proposed to pay off the remainder of the debt $1,800 by planting tending reaping and refining sorghum on a More ambitious scale. They have to sell the stuff too but that has proved no chore at All. The sorghum goes for $10 a gallon. $2 less than the commercial rate. During the first few Days of molasses production last week the gallon jugs containing the syrupy liquid had been sold before they a even cooled taking $50 from the Church Treasury Turner leased a five acre tract in the Cedar Square Community. Pete Beeson. A Church member moved in last Spring with his Tiller and planted the sorghum crop. During the summertime growing season it was supposed to be Turners responsibility to prevent the weeds from taking Over the Cane Patch. He succeeded admirably says Beeson despite the fact he had his own poultry business to worry about at the same time. An especially Hardy Weed did sprout at the end of the growing Seaton but by that time the sorghum had established itself too Well to be seriously harmed. In reality the crop took care of itself with perhaps a Little assistance from Providence. The whole picture changed on saturday however when the Church hosted what must have resembled an old time barn raising quilting Bee or in this Case a Community harvesting. Sixty people showed up at noontime to eat a dinner prepared by the women of the Church. Then they All retired to the Fields where the sorghum Cane harvesting began. All sixty were not members of the Church. Turner says he was particularly gratified to see the a a outsiders who came for the enjoyment of doing this one tire in their life a they Are probably glad Only do it once. The first process is known As wherein the fodder is removed from the Cane As it stands in the Fields. Next the Novice Field hands Cut the Heads off the sorghum Plant. Photographs by Sonny Hedgecock then an antique Corn binding machine comes Down the rows of stripped and beheaded sorghum to bundle the crop. From there the bundles Are taken Down the Road to the farm of Artemus Freeman an old hand at making sorghum molasses. He a 68 years old and he has been doing it All of his life. The equipment he employs looks like a museum piece. First the sorghum goes into a hand cranked Mill where the juice is extracted. The liquid trickles from the Mill into a Large vat with a spigot on the Bottom. Whoever is fireman regulates the flow of juice from the spigot which overhangs a Large rectangular contraption known As the evaporator. As Bis title implies the fireman is also responsible for maintaining the fire housed in the lower portion of the evaporator. Shallow pans in the upper part trap the flowing juice. A More modern apparatus would be heated with natural Gas jets. The fuel used in Freeman Furnace however is hot burning Southern Pine a plentiful commodity in Randolph county. A Tine is cheaper a explained Pete Beeson who was stoking the fire one Day last week. It May be cheaper but the sweat pouring from Beesons brow suggested it in t cooler. In the evaporator the liquid slowly progresses from one pan to the other. It becomes thicker As it moves along the 360 fire transforming most of it into steam. In the last and lowest pan All that is left is the familiar Brown sugary substance. Before the molasses is bottled however it is strained twice and allowed to Cool. Then it s ready for biscuits and butter. All of the work by the Cedar Square congregation has been voluntary. Some of the adults who have participated have had to take time from their jobs. Others most of them engaged in farming have the main portion of their work for this year behind them. The Days in the Field and at the molasses Mill have been Long but the camaraderie has made up for All the work. Quot Well have Over 2,000 Man hours in it when we re done a estimates Pete Beeson. Quot but we be had Over $2,000 Worth of Freeman head Cook Artemus Freeman skims the nearly finished molasses As it passes from the last evaporator pan into a Pitcher. Any remaining residue is taken can of by the Strainer placed in the top. Filling the Jug Ann Turner performs the last chore in the Molas production process. From Here it will go to Someon pantry no. I stripping binding the Cane

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