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Monday, September 1, 2014

THE PROCESS OF CULTIVATING ALOE VERA INVOLVES THE FOLLOWING

The ground is to be carefully prepared to keep free from weeds and the soil is ideally kept ideally slightly acidic. The soil should be supplied supplement in the form of ammonium nitrate every year.
The plants are set spaced out by 31 inches in rows and between the rows. At that rate, about 5,000 plants are set per acre. An 8 - 12 inch aloe pop would take about 18 - 24 months to fully mature.
The plants, in a year's time, would bear flowers that are bright yellow in colour. The leaves are 1 to 2 feet long and are cut without causing damage to the plant, so that it lasts for several years.
The leaves cut off close to the plant are placed immediately, with the cut end downwards, in a V-shaped wooden trough of about 4 feet long and 12 to 18 inches deep.
The wooden trough is set on a sharp incline so that the juice, which trickles from the leaves very rapidly, flows down its sides, and finally escapes by a hole at its lower end into a vessel placed beneath.
It takes about a quarter of an hour to cut leaves enough to fill a trough. The troughs are so distributed as to be easily accessible to the cutters.
The leaves are neither infused nor boiled, nor is any use afterwards made of them except for manure. When the vessels receiving the juice become filled, the latter is removed to a cask or reserved for evaporation. This may be done at once, or it may be delayed for weeks or even months.
The evaporation is generally conducted in a copper vessel; at the bottom of this is a large ladle, into which the impurities sink, and are from time to time removed as the boiling goes on.

As soon as the inspissations has reached the proper point, which is determined solely by the experienced eye of the workman, the thickened juice is poured into large gourds or into boxes, and allowed to harden. 

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