March has a special place in my heart because, in my area, that’s when maple tapping happens! Did you know that most of the maple syrup you buy in the store is actually corn syrup?!? Yep. It’s cheap and easy to produce. Unless it says, Real Maple Syrup, and unless it costs an arm and a leg, it’s not the real deal. Did you know you can make your own?
With a few tools listed above and the ability to cook the sap down for many hours, you can save a lot of money by making your own syrup. A few pointers: first, cook it outdoors so the evaporated steam doesn’t coat your kitchen cabinets (sticky!), and second, be able to properly identify a sugar maple tree. You can use other maples, however, they will not taste as good. Oh yes, one more thing… it takes a lot of sap to make syrup. 40 gallons of sap = 1 gallon of syrup. You may need to collect the sap for several days.
***By the way, I would like to give a special shout-out to Ms. Urbut’s fourth-grade class from Chicago, IL. Hi everyone!!! I hope you have a wonderful day today!***
Here is a close-up view of some of the tools needed to harvest your very own sap.
Why is March the month for sap? The trees have stored their sap way down in their roots for the winter. Once we have a few days where the daytime temperature is above freezing, with nights below freezing, it creates different types of pressure inside the tree, which causes the sap to move around.
Happy tapping my friends!