Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sugar Cane

As I am writing this, I am drinking my favorite cocktail, one lime squeezed over ice and topped with fresh pressed sugar cane juice.  It tastes like a Mai Tai sans rum. (but that would be great too).

One year old Sugar Cane clump in our garden
So I go up to the garden, using my machete cane knife and cut five mature canes and bring them down to my outside sink & counter.  I cut these into foot long sections and split them in half rounds.  Then I put them one at a time into my hand cranked sugar cane press.  This process took about 20 minutes and produced one and a half gallons of sugar cane juice.  The volume of juice is much more than people expect.  Besides my favorite cocktail, I use sugar cane juice as the base liquid for our morning smoothies.  No more purchased store bought fruit juices for us.

canes ready to press
insert cane and crank handle
fresh squeezed juice

Growing sugar cane is easy.  Simply put a mature piece of cane, 18 inches or so, at an angle into the ground about half buried, half in the air.  The eyes will sprout, the roots will grow.  A year later there will be a clump of sugar cane.  I don't fertilize, but I do use IMO's when planting, mulch the soil and occasionally spray with the Cho self made sprays.  But these plants need little if any care.

Sugar cane juice is a great source of minerals and vitamins.  Every teaspoon of raw sugar cane contains about 4 g of carbohydrates. Raw sugar cane is free from fats, cholesterol, proteins and sodium. But it contains significant amount of vitamin C,  vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. Raw sugar cane calories are only around 15, while a teaspoon of raw sugar cane contains about 4 g of glucose (sugar), which is the healthiest form of sugar.  It is also alkaline by nature.

I chip sugar cane with my wood chipper when preparing gardens.  IMO's like sugars, so when I prepare a bed I'll chip enough cane to put about a half inch of cane mulch over the entire garden bed.  Then I add IMO #4.  This kick starts the growth of the micro-organisms in the soil.   They like food.


  1. Eric where did you get your sugar cane press?

  2. Sugar industry, incredibly, insists that once you look at the research, no expert says that sugar leads to any disease, even obesity.

    refining of sugar