Due to the incredibly windy conditions up here and the fact that there’s a residential burn-ban in effect, I decided to boil down the sap at Amy’s. I ended up with about five and a half gallons of sap which boiled down nicely to about a pint and a half of syrup. Not a ton, but enough to enjoy and even share. Making and tasting the syrup was a much needed break after the events of the past week. I think most of us needed a distraction or two this week. » Continue Reading.
Posts Tagged ‘Maple Sugaring’
So far, spring has been a big let down. There were two robins in the yard this morning, hopefully representing a soon-to-be change in the weather. Between the upper field and lower field, I’d say about two-thirds of the area is still covered in snow. In the woods, I can post-hole my legs up to the calf when not wearing snowshoes. Luckily, the freeze and thaw effect has left a fairly heavy crust on top of the snow, making it a little easier to walk around.
The little path that Pico and I have made to the sugar maples is a safe walk, and I have no problem doing it in sneakers. I might break through three or four times, but the falls through the crust into the four or five inches of snow don’t seem to matter now. The end is in sight. » Continue Reading.
I love my dog Pico. But there are times when he can be extremely annoying. Like right now, he’s licking my elbow and won’t stop. I lifted my arm up off the table but he just jumped up on me to keep on licking. I don’t know why he is doing this or what I could have possibly gotten on my elbow to make him want to lick it so bad. He’s just a little weird sometimes.
I noticed another oddity out here this week. I tapped a few maple trees so I could make a little sap this year. Last year, I was all primed to do the work, but then maple season came and went in a week in February, and I was caught off guard and left with no syrup.
This year is a test run. I bought some taps and used a few old milk jugs as buckets. Trying to do it on the quick and cheap, I’m really only expecting a couple servings of syrup. I don’t have the equipment or the time right now to handle a big production, but now that I know what I’m getting into, I can make a bunch of syrup next spring. » Continue Reading.
Our sugarhouse is within walking distance of an elementary school, so we’ve given tapping demonstrations to hundreds of school kids over the years. At the part where someone drills a hole in the tree and it sort of bleeds, the next question is invariably: “Does tapping hurt the tree?”
The stock answer is no, as long as you don’t overdo it: use the smaller “health” spouts, follow conservative tapping guidelines, give the tree a year off if it looks stressed. As proof that sugaring is sustainable, we point to some of the trees in our sugarbush that have been tapped for close to a hundred years and are better off for it. Better off because we thin out the trees around them, giving the chosen trees extra light, water, and nutrients.
Their increased vigor, when compared to the maples in unmanaged sections of the forest, is plain to see. But the sugarmaking being practiced today in many commercial bushes – including our own – is not the same sugarmaking that was practiced even 10 years ago. » Continue Reading.
There are a variety of places that a person can visit to see maple sap collected, especially this weekend (March 23-24) as maple producers join together for the second of two New York State Maple Producers Association Maple Weekends.
According to New York State Maple Producers Association President Dwayne Hill, the organization has grown to 575 members and helps to educate the public about the production of maple products. Hill stresses the importance of increasing the number of maple producers in New York State. He sees the world dependence on maple products rising, which he believes is partially due to maple being a natural sweetener. » Continue Reading.
In any sugarbush, there is a good chance that a fungal intruder has gained entry and is wintering unseen beneath the rich, dark bark of an unlucky sugar maple. If this invader is sapstreak disease, then death is likely to soon claim a valuable sap producer. » Continue Reading.
A new era of alcoholic beverage production is dawning in the Adirondacks. You can drink locally-brewed beer from any one of several micro-breweries, or imbibe vodka distilled from potatoes grown in Gabriels and filtered through the high-quality quartz crystals known as Herkimer diamonds. “Drinking local” has a long tradition within the Blue Line. Today, let’s consider the honorable history of Adirondack beer. » Continue Reading.
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) 2013 Maple Research Project is in search of maple producers for research on improving sap yields and maple business profitability. The deadline to respond is Friday, February 1. NNYADP-funded maple research is designed to support the idea that Northern New York can double its maple income to more than $10 million, based on a survey by Cornell University Northern New York Maple Specialist Michael Farrell.
Farrell, director of Cornell’s Uihlein Maple Forest in Lake Placid, says research data from maple tap spout-and-dropline combination trials at the Uihlein forest since 2010, and from similar evaluations conducted at Parker Family Maple Farm in West Chazy, NY, in 2011 and 2012 have shown promising results for improving yields by as much as 100 percent in some cases. A dropline is the length of tubing that runs from a spout on the tap into the tree to the lateral line that collects sap. » Continue Reading.
In the northern hardwood forest, climate change is expected to reduce the viability of the maple syrup industry, encourage the spread of wildlife diseases and invasive species, and impact timber resources and the winter sports economy.
Accurately gauging the pace of change in the Adirondacks has been challenging, owing to the relative dearth of long-term local data. Now, a new study published by 21 scientists that reviews 50 years of data from Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire concludes that our current models of climate change don’t account well for surprising real world changes taking place in local forests.
» Continue Reading.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Lewis County in conjunction with Mother Earth News is responding to the increasing numbers of people inquiring about raising backyard poultry, beef, and other livestock, food preservation, energy alternatives for homes and farms, and back-to-the-land management skills with a new educational event. A Homesteading Fair will be presented at the Maple Ridge Center in Lowville, NY, September 8 and 9, 2012.
The two-day event will offer more than 90 educational workshops, held rain or shine, under large tents, in a large, approved, kitchen and former barns, and on the expansive lawn at the Maple Ridge Center. Livestock shearing and wool spinning are among the many planned demonstrations. » Continue Reading.