Southern Matters

Southern Matters

Felix Horne (Metcalfe, Georgia)

Mr. Horne is one of the largest syrup makers in the Tallahassee/ Thomasville area. He sells under his own label and he markets his product wholesale, providing labeled containers for retailers. An affable man, Mr. Horne was generous with his time and shared information freely.

Mr. Horne grows two varieties of cane (CP36-111 and CP67-500, which has a waxy coat). He fertilizes according to the recommendations of Water's Lab in Camilla. He aims for 600 gallons of syrup per acre, and the fertilizer recommendation is in the range of 2000 pounds of 3-9-9 per acre. He avoids Cl- in fertilizer as he said it causes the syrup to foam.


Slides 1 and 2, show Mr. Horne discussing the syrup business with Beth and Tommy Clayton (blue shirt). The syrup house and the mill are in the background. As you will note, Tommy's attention is most devotedly focused on the business at hand. For more on Tommy's interest in syrup and cane mills, go to Southern Cross Farm.

Slide 3, is a Golden No. 36. Power is transmitted to the mill via a pneumatic tire (as for the Alton Rowan mill.) Other modern ways to power the No. 36 are found at the Mule Day's page and the Raymond Roland page.


Slides 4 and 5, show Mr. Horne's evaporator, which is made of copper and cypress. As there has been discussion on evaporators lately, I took the dimensions. The overall outside dimensions are 12 feet (long) by 39 ½ inches (wide) by 5 ½ inches (height). The syrup end of the evaporator is set ½ inch higher than the juice end. The larger baffles (3 ½ inches tall) are set 18 inches apart. A pair of equally spaced smaller baffles (1 3/8 inches tall) are set between the larger baffles. The flow spaces around the ends of the baffles are 2 5/8 inches and alternate from side to side.


The diesel burner provides the bulk of the heat about 3 feet from the juice end of the evaporator and is set on a sloping earthen bank under the evaporator, as illustrated in extension bulletins.