Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker




















































 -   In the interim,
the only cultivation required is repeated cleaning.  The whole
plantation is cut down at the proper period - Page 230
Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker - Page 230 of 334 - First - Home

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In The Interim, The Only Cultivation Required Is Repeated Cleaning.

The whole plantation is cut down at the proper period, and the sticks are then stripped of their bark by the peelers.

These men are called "chalias," and their labor is confined to this particular branch. The season being over, they pass the remaining portion of the year in idleness, their earnings during one crop being sufficient to supply their trifling wants until the ensuing harvest.

Their practice in this employment naturally renders them particularly expert, and in far less time than is occupied in the description they run a sharp knife longitudinally along a stick, and at once divest it of the bark. On the following day the strips of bark are scraped so as entirely to remove the outer cuticle. One strip is then laid within the other, which, upon becoming dry, contract, and form a series of enclosed pipes. It is subsequently packed in bales, and carefully sewed up in double sacks for exportation.

The essential oil of cinnamon is usually made from the refuse of the crop; but the quantity produced, in proportion to the weight of cinnamon, is exceedingly small, being about five ounces of oil to half a hundred-weight of the spice.

Although the cinnamon appears to require no more than a common quartz sand for its production, it is always cultivated with the greatest success where the subsoil is light, dry and of a loamy quality.

The appearance of the surface soil is frequently very deceitful.

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