A blast from the past at the 2019 Cane Boil and Fiddle Fest


It's not often children volunteer to do chores, but many tried their hand for the first time at chores they may have been asked to do a hundred years ago in Alachua County Saturday.

This was all part of the 2019 Cane Boil and Fiddle Fest at Morningside Nature Center.

The idea is to spread knowledge of how a historic farm would be run by using hands-on methods for parents and children to step into the shoes of farm families in the past.

Also demonstrated was the full process of making sugar cane in cane syrup, from harvesting to the hours-long process of boiling the sugary liquid down.

Farm Manager Bricky Way explained how much syrup they actually get from a batch. "We have a 60-gallon kettle right now and we usually put around 55 gallons in it so it doesn't get too close to the top and we end up with maybe 6, 6 and a half gallons of syrup. It varies a little depending on how thick you cook it and how sweet the cane is."

At the beginning of the day, a fiddle competition was held, but although the competitive playing didn't last long multiple fiddle players set up around the farm to serenade guests during the event.

Also available to children other than chores were live farm animals, demonstrations in blacksmithing, loom weaving and of course raw sugar cane to eat.