Old-fashioned treat to take place of honor

Published 9:39 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SOUTH POINT — By Monday Lowell Moon was cutting down the sugar cane in about an acre patch getting ready for the show on Saturday.

That’s when the annual Sorghum Festival off Township Road 161 opens for its 14th year.

And for Moon the day will start early at 6 a.m. as he grinds the cane and pours the juice into the long trough where the end result is so sweet.

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“My dad made it and I made it with my dad when I was growing up,” Moon said. “It will take three or four hours to go from one end to other. It is like a maze.”

The featured player of the festival was put out in the field as seeds the first of June. Then it took the cane about 100 days before it became mature enough to harvest.

For Saturday’s festival the juice will be ground out of the cane with a hydraulic motor. But Moon remembers the day when a horse or two did that monotonous work.

The rest of the process on Saturday will be done the way it used to.

“Everything else is done the old-fashioned way over a wood fire,” Moon said.

While the sorghum is cooking, there will be wagon rides, horse pitching, clog dancing and bluegrass music to entertain those who come to the daylong festival. The dancing will start at 11:30 a.m. and the music will last until 5 p.m. But visitors can show up as early as Moon if they want to watch the cane do its transformation.

Homemade apple butter and local honey will also be sold.

Moon estimates his cane patch this year will produce about 100 quarts of sorghum.

“We had a pretty patch this year,” he said. “You either love sorghum or hate it. It is a sweet syrup. It has a unique taste. All the old people were raised on it, like a breakfast syrup, like jelly. The best way is you take butter and hot biscuits and sop it all together. That’s what I like.”