With the worldwide sugar shortage pushing up the price of the commodity at an alarming rate, two farmers in Sacramento, California, have come up with a personal solution to the problem -- they've taken to growing and refining their own sugar.
SVs Smith and Newborn working on refining equipment (4 shots)
SV Cane being processed.
CU Newborn speaks
SV Furnace being stoked
CU Smith speaking
SVs Cane being refined into molasses (8 shots)
COMMENTARY: "Henry Newborn and Judy Smith have an answer to skyrocketing sugar prices: grow your own. The two Sacramento men came to California from the Mississippi delta, and brought with them. They started growing cane as a hobby, to prove to farmers who said it couldn't be done in California that it could. Making sugar sounds so easy in their eyes that it makes you wonder why the prices are so high."
NEWBORN: "You got several processes you got to go through with it. You got the ground and you got to grow it, then you grind it, then you cook it."
COMMENTARY: "Sugar costs so much now that the two men are thinking of expanding their one acre to five next year so they can sell their product, They say there's no limit to how much sugar cane they can grow."
SMITH: "If I was a young man, I dont't Know, I'd probably make a young fortune. Because I could supply the city here with sugar if I had about thirty, forty acres."
COMMENTARY: "Smith had his grandfather's 1892 sugar cane mill flown in from Louisiana. Powered by a horse, it squeezed the juice from cane. The juice is then cooked in vats for about five hours until it becomes molasses. Cook the molasses longer and it becomes sugar. The men figure they'll get 200 pounds of sugar and 75 pounds of molasses for their efforts. If you think that's too much trouble, go to a store and price the sugar. Theirs cost them 15 cents a pound. This is Lynn Jones."
Initials BB/1611 TH/PN/BB/1623
TVN reporter Lynn Jones visited their farm. His commentary, plus the comments of the two men, is transcribed overage.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: With the worldwide sugar shortage pushing up the price of the commodity at an alarming rate, two farmers in Sacramento, California, have come up with a personal solution to the problem -- they've taken to growing and refining their own sugar.
Local farmers told the two newcomers -- Jody Smith and Henry Newborn -- that sugar simply couldn't be grown in Sacramento. But drawing on their experience of sugar growing in Louisiana, the two men have confounded the soeptics and produced the goods.
Their first crop of cane, from just one acre of land, has produced 200 pounds of sugar and 75 pounds of molasses. The cost is about 15 cents (6 pence) per pound. Now they're wondering about expanding production.