By Janeen Ellsworth
Thanks to the awesome folks we met at Harrison Hills County Park this past weekend, we've been inspired to try maple syrup making on our own!
Scroll down for the 10 fairly-simple steps we followed to make small-batch maple syrup (and how we're continuing to do so). Keep in mind this is a loooooong, energy-intensive process but so-so-so fun and great for the whole family! And March is the perfect time of year to do this, with the sunny days and frigid nights, the sugar maples are drawing liquid up from the ground through their vascular systems all the way to the tips of their buds, and then draining the sap back to the ground in the evenings. That's when the sap comes gushing, and that's when you can capture the glorious bounty of nature!
Here's a quick video to say thanks to our new pals, the Friends of Harrison Hills, who got us started on this wonderful late-winter journey! Thanks, Susan, Dennis, Eric and Sandra!
Helpful Resources to Review Before Attempting to Make Maple Syrup:
University of Vermont - Research-based info on everything you need to know about trees before you tap.
Tap My Trees - Tips and guides on how to do it and what supplies you'll need, from Canadians!
River Ridge Products Kit - All the supplies you need to make syrup at home.
10 Fairly Easy Steps to DIY 100% Natural Maple Syrup
Pictured above-right is my very first ever batch of DIY syrup, a mere 2 ounces of the stuff harvested from 1 whole gallon of sap. It's a little cloudy, but has a delicious buttery flavor that goes great on the kids' morning waffles. I love that it's pure and local, straight from a nearby park, and totally organic.
In between writing sessions I'm back at the boiling process again today, with another 3+ gallons we pulled from a second tree, so hopefully I'll be getting more syrup and it will be clear amber like nature--and our friends at Harrison Hills--intended!
Thanks, Mother Earth, glorious trees, and everyone who helped us in this process!
I'm Janeen; writer, mother, wife, and full-time, radical Reductionist. I share stupid-easy tips on how to save money while reducing your impact on the environment, & I'm committed to helping others live a life of simple sustainability.
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