On the way to the floating markets we stopped off at a coconut farm and were shown how to make coconut sugar. I didn’t know there was such a thing. The coconut trees yield 70 coconuts a year and produce fruit for 90 years. All the coconuts are picked by hand, no machines. I demonstrated how to climb the bamboo pole to reach the coconuts.
The coconut sugar isn’t produced from the coconut. Its actually from the flower stem that the coconut grows from. The farmer cuts off a piece of the flower stem and juice flows out. They tie a container underneath it to catch the fluid.
The fluid flows better at night. So each evening the cut a little more of the flower stem to get more juice. They stop cutting just before the coconut seed so that the coconuts still grow.
They take the juice and put it into three vats. First warms it up, then hotter, then hottest.
The hottest have a basket to stop the fluids from escaping when boiling.
The fires are kept going by burning coconut husks.
Once the cooking process is gone they stir the mixture to cool it down.
Once it starts getting thick they put into small bowls to set. The finished product is coconut sugar. It a brown powdery substance that is sweet like sugar.
Also at the farm they had some gibbons, and a pair of squirrels.