Sunday, 10 June 2007
Tweed Valley - Condong Sugar Mill
Sugar cane was first grown in the Tweed Valley in the late 1860s and the sugar mill at Condong, another river village, was built in 1880. The cane is harvested between June and December, and has been characterised in the past by setting fire to the cane prior to cutting.
The fires, especially at night, were visually spectacular, but caused many problems including severe smoke haze, respiratory difficulties and what is known locally as 'black snow', the ash from the fires which blows and then falls over the towns and villages.
Over the past 5 years or so, more and more cane farmers are choosing to cut their cane green, and often sell the green cane waste as garden mulch in road-side stalls. In the photo of the mill, you can see construction of the new power station ( the tallest chimney stack) which will be powered entirely by the cane waste. The power generated will in turn power the sugar mill, and any excess power will be fed into the power grid. How good is that!!