Caning, southern style!
April 12, 2011 6:37 PM   Subscribe

How do I go about finding sources for cane sugar stock in my area? Yea, for growing...

So I've already found this (PDF warning!) and will be there if other ventures fail to work out.

So, anyway, I'm looking for some starts to put out for personal chewing and maybe some tea swizzle sticks. I had this stuff in Ecuador and really loved it's flavor and feel like it should be pretty simple to grow.

Anyway bonus points for ideas about varieties that are more suitable for sugar (instead of syrup/crystal varieties) and/or heirloom stock.

Without giving up too much information on my whereabouts I'll say that I'm within easy driving distance of the link above.
posted by RolandOfEld to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not local, but available by mail-order: Saccharum officinarum “Black Stemmed Sugar Cane”.
posted by Ery at 7:13 PM on April 12, 2011

I can find it in Mexican markets- you just need fresh pieces of the cane with at least one node for starts. Lay the cuttings down in a 2 inch deep trench and cover with soil, keep moist.

Keep in mind that: the leaves are sharp, and you need to wear long sleeves and gloves around the canes; and ants love it.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:56 PM on April 12, 2011

At least here in Australia, Vietnamese restaurants often have a supplier. It's used for Chạo tôm, which are those delicious grilled shrimp on a sugar cane stick things.

In a similar vein it sometimes turns up in Asian grocers here, but that's not really reliable.

Or maybe ask the Uni of Florida extension for some growers' contact numbers, then ask to buy a few sticks for (eg.s) your home garden, to make juice from, to cook with, etc?

Finally it might be worth seeing whether the Uni itself has trial fields or their own suppliers of stock that you can access prior to the field day.
posted by Ahab at 12:54 AM on April 13, 2011

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