Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, we will have our annual Labor Day Sorghum Festival. It will be at the Homestead Craft Village at Brazos de Dios, in Waco, Texas. Admission is free. Hours: 10AM – 5PM
Watch the process of making sweet sorghum syrup – from pressing raw cane with a horse-powered mill to cooking the sap into rich, golden brown syrup. Enjoy samples of sorghum syrup on freshly baked cornbread made from stone-ground cornmeal!
At this year’s sorghum festival, we plan to have:
- Sorghum Pressing and Syrup Cook-off
- Horse-Drawn Hayrides
- Demonstrations of Various Fine Hand-Crafts
- Make-your-own Activities for Children
- BBQ, Brick Oven Pizza, and Ice-Cream
More About Sorghum Syrup . . .
More than 70 years ago, sorghum syrup was a common sweetener on dinner tables throughout rural Texas. Many farmers grew small patches in their fields. At harvest time, they would bring their cane to a nearby farm that had a mill. Families would work together to press cane and cook it down into syrup.
At Brazos de Dios, we carry on this community tradition with our annual sorghum harvest. We hand cut the 10- to 14-foot-tall canes grown on the rich river-bottom soil of our lower land and haul them to our sorghum mill. There, we feed the raw cane stalks through a 100-year-old horse-/mule-powered press. After squeezing the cane, we allow the juice to settle for 2-3 hours in a stainless steel holding tank before channeling it downhill via gravity flow to the sorghum house, where we cook it over a wood fire.
The green juice bubbles and boils its way between the baffles of the hot, 12-foot-long pan. As the excess water evaporates, the juice makes its way to the far end of the pan where it has now become a thick, sweet, golden-brown syrup now ready for bottling.
Be sure to taste a sample of this year’s syrup at the sorghum mill or at our restored Homestead Gristmill!
Stop by to watch and visit. We’d love to answer any questions you have about how sorghum is planted, harvested and made into sweet sorghum syrup.
Location and Driving Directions
The festival is hosted at the Homestead Heritage Traditional Craft Village at Brazos de Dios. Brazos de Dios is located in central Texas, 5 miles north of Waco and within easy driving distance of Dallas/Fort Worth, Temple, Belton and Austin.
Take I-35 to Elm Mott Exit 343; go west on FM 308 for 3 miles, then north on FM 933 for 1 1/2 miles. Turn west onto Halbert Lane and proceed a half mile straight ahead to the entrance.
For further information, call (254) 754-9600.
We look forward to seeing you at this year’s festival.