Maple Syrup

Canning Maple Syrup is very easy!

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It’s time to tap the trees again!

You wouldn’t think that tapping trees in Eastern Oregon would be a “thing”, and you’d be right… but…

It just looked so fun and interesting! And I have maple trees, right? So, why not try? And, if you know me, you will know that I HAVE to try!!

Off to the wisdom of the internet I ran!

This is only my second year tapping my tree. I have learned a few things along the way. If you have, at any time, the right conditions for the sap to run on your sugar maple, you should do it! Is it just me? What is so fascinating about watching sap run!? I’d bet you’ll be hooked if you try it, though.

Here are a few things I’ve learned.

  • Start early in the year. The temperatures need to be below freezing at night and well above freezing during the day. Ideal nighttime temperatures will be in the 20s and will swing to the 40s during the day. I have started as late as March and as early as January. I will start in January from now on, however.
  • Keep records. I haven’t started doing this yet but while I am in the learning phase still, I want to keep a record of the temperatures, general weather and the quantities I get each day. It will help me anticipate when I will get the highest yields.
  • The early season sap tastes like vanilla! Seriously! We save that for summer iced coffee drinks.
  • Keep records. Again. This time, keep a note of cooking temperatures and times. If you cook the sap too fast, the texture turns out kind of weird (in my opinion). If you cook it too slow, it is really watery. Still working on the best temperature for my stove. Also, set a timer so you remember to check on your boiling sap often. The last thing you want to do is boil it down til it burns. Ask me how I know…
  • It takes 40 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup. I can easily collect 2-5 gallons per day when the sap is running well. On days that it’s running well, you may need to go out to empty your buckets several times per day.
  • If the sap stops running for a bit, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s done. Leave it be and just keep checking it every day.

Each year I have learned a little bit more. Maybe in a few years I will know it all! Ha!

This coming weekend (March 19-20, 2022) in Massachusetts is Maple Weekend! I’ve learned a lot from the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association website. Check out their website for recipes, how-to’s and even educational resources for parents, teachers and kids! If you live in the Massachusetts sugaring region, visit a sugarhouse this weekend! There are more than two dozen that are opening their doors to show you around! Lucky!

Maple syrup tree tapping kits are inexpensive, so they are definitely worth it! (this is similar to the one I have) You should definitely give this a try in your own backyard and learn about this super easy and fun, family friendly harvest!

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