ZONAUTARA.com – Sem Wungow (64) who lived in Tomohon city, North Sulawesi province, Indonesia to supports his family life from seho tree or enau tree processed into palm sugar. In his farm, there is a stove to make palm sugar.
From a stove he could support his family life, and also sending to school his daughter and son until bachelor. Sem build a stove with a quadrangle shaped ground half meter deep about 60 centimeters. On the stove, he put a large pot to cook nila water from aren tree, and then the water nila processed into sugar palm.
Every morning, he comes to farm and climbing the sugar palm tree can reach 15-20 meters, at the top he can tapped nira water. In certain technique the water of nira comes out from its head, and then brought down the dripping water droplets. The water of nira cooked on the stove into palm sugar. Once cooking can get 15 shells of palm sugar depending on the sugar content.
Palm sugar has a light caramel like flavor and is not as sweet as sugar cane. Not only the tasted of sugar is unique, but also the environmentally friendly manufacturing process and the perceived health benefits.
He has been in this profession for a long time. No wonder, often he was called to training how to make palm sugar in Sumatera and the others region. In fact, he is an instructor and coordinator of Aren farmers in the institutions.
Sem hoped there would be a special school that can teaches become farmers, especially the sugar palm farmers. Because in Minahasa, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, palm trees grow fertile.
The production of palm sugar does not involve the cutting down of the tropical rainforest, but rather the planting of new forests, because the palm grows best in tropical mixed forest and not in a monoculture. Also, fertilizers and pesticides are not used, so the groundwater is not contaminated. The sugar palm also uses less water than other crops, and because the tree roots dig deep into the soil, this also prevents erosion.
Author: Tesa Filia Senduk
Indonesian version: Ronny A. Buol
Editor: Ronny A. Buol