What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Sorghum Time

Saturday The Bean and I went to the Cane Hill Harvest Festival. What do they harvest? Cane. Cane Hill. See? What do they make out of cane? Sorghum.

No trip to the Harvest Festival would be complete without a stop at one of our favorite places. This old landlocked waterwheel is located just off the highway. There are plans to renovate it and rebuild it. The building used to be tree or four stories tall. You know I love old rusty stuff, so this place is right up my alley.
As I was taking these photos a lot of cars drove by and people looked at me like we were tourists. Truth is, we live close and like to visit it. Sometimes I wonder if people that live by something beautiful or interesting really appreciate it.

It's a good place to take photos. Some staged.

Others not.

On to the Harvest Festival. Would you like to know how they make Sorghum?

First they cut the cane and load it on trailers.

It's really pretty all stacked up waiting to be made into sorghum.

I love the big seed pods at the top. Very brown and autumnal looking.

The men come down the trailer and cut of the tops of each piece of cane.

They don't even use the pretty part.

Then they use this mule to help mill the cane. Actually, this step I don't know so much about. I do know that mule walks around and around and around and around until he wears a circle in the grass down to the earth.

'Round and around.

This is the Sorghum Barn where they actually cook and make the sorghum. Sorghum is molasses, you knew that, right? They pour it into glass jars and wrap them up in newspaper so you can get it home.
The first year we went, there was a long line leading into the Sorghum Barn. We didn't know what the line was for, but we got in it anyway. Any line that long, had to be for something good. Finally we got close enough to see that we were in line to buy a jar of Sorghum. But, before you got all the way to the end of the line, there was a jar of Sorghum with Popsicle sticks in it so you could taste it. We had never had sorghum, so The Bean and I took a stick out and stuck it in our mouths. There was a local man in front of us and he turned to watch us taste it. His eyes were bright and he had a smile on his face as he watched us about to taste it, anticipating our delight. What he didn't expect, and neither did we, that we had the overwhelming desire to spit it out. But, we didn't - we do have some manners. As he realized we didn't like it, his face was rather crestfallen. Then he said, "Well, it is a bit of an acquired taste." He turned to wait out his turn at a boiling hot jar of Sorghum and The Bean and I got the heck out of that line. Needless to say, we don't get in that line anymore.


  1. I love molasses..it reminds me of my grandma...she used to to put it on hot biscuits and it was so, so yummy!

    As for living amongst beautiful things and not appreciating it...I see alot of that here. When we go to Lincoln, we walk amongst Roman and Medieval structures..and i am so moved by it all. Mr G, however, could care less. Lol! Scotland was much the same way..so mystical and majestic, it moved me to tears, yet to most, it is just a place to live.

    You know as well as I do how beautiful Arkansas is and how blessed you are to live there.

  2. Hello monkeybox family. I love these kinds of festivals, always so interesting and fun. Have to agree with you about sorghum/molasses. Not a fan of overly sweet things but and a really big but there is nothing like hot, out of the oven molasses cookies and a tall, cold glass of milk. Sea Witch

  3. You do have some interesting things in your area! I'm gonna have to play tourist someday and visit all the fun things around here. If I could only find a few! : )

  4. They make molasses at French Camp MS on the Natchez trace. It is quite the thing to see. And I enjoyed the pictures, but like you--I don't care for the taste.

  5. I remember your past incident with sorghum tasting.Always love to hear of your adventures.


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