Maple Syrup time is a SWEET time of year! Maple Syrup production goes into full swing as sap begins to flow. Hobby producers, as well as larger operators, take advantage of weather that is ideal to produce syrup this time of year. Generally, the season starts in February when we have sub-freezing nights, with above freezing days. The season only lasts 30 – 50 days, depending on the weather in your part of the country. It’s not surprising to learn that Vermont and New York are the largest producers, while enjoying the longest season.
Maple Syrup Production in the U.S. Is Increasing
In 2019, Maple Syrup production in the U.S. totaled 4.24 million gallons, an increase of one percent from the previous year. According to Amanda Voyer, executive director of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association, production in the U.S. has more than doubled nationally in the last decade. Additionally, with growing consumer interest in food sourcing, the American maple syrup market has benefited handsomely. “It’s a natural product. It’s good for the environment. It is sustainable,” Voyer says. “Maple syrup is for far more than just pancakes,” she tells me. “Once upon a time it was just a breakfast topper, but it has now expanded into many food and beverage products.”
Cooking Maple Syrup
After sap is collected from the trees, the water needs to be boiled out of it. Hobby operators often find that this process takes an abundance of wood, and patience, to cook Maple Syrup down! There are a number of variables to consider in the amount of time this takes, and how much wood is needed, until you achieve the desired product. It is estimated that it could take one full cord to produce 25 gallons of syrup. Everyone does agree that the type of wood isn’t as important compared to how dry it is! According to the University of Buffalo study, BIO BLOCK Firewood has 8.5% moisture content. This makes it a good option to use in your fire when cooking the sap. Keep in mind that one pallet of BIO BLOCKS (1 ton) is equivalent to one and one half cords of firewood.
Whether you purchase Maple syrup at a retail store, or enjoy the efforts of producing it yourself, remember it is a sweet time of year!
“A sap-run is the sweet good-bye of winter. It is the fruit of the equal marriage of the sun and frost.” – John Burroughs, “Signs and Seasons”. 1886
- Note: The picture in this blog was submitted by a sugar shack in Homes County OH.