Most great ideas start small. That’s how Katie and Ben Reneker, founders of the Carmel Berry Company, started out handcrafting small batches of syrups and cordials with elderberries or elderflowers wild-harvested or grown on their small farm.
Tapping maple trees for home production is practical and productive. Even in the lower Midwest, tapping as few as three trees can produce much of a household’s year-round maple needs. Although fully concentrating sap into syrup takes significant time and attention, it’s also possible to preserve sap at a lower concentration with far less work, using it year-round as a refreshing drink.
Though sap flow occurs in a wide variety of trees, there is one variety that produces a sap sweeter than them all: The Sugar Maple. For a six-week window of time before the break of spring, the sugar maple flows. The sap can be tapped, and then boiled down on a wood burning stove at home to make golden, luscious homemade maple syrup.
These homemade syrups and natural sweeteners offer a DIY way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
But it doesn’t have the cloying sweetness of sugar-added syrups, plus the pears give the syrup an earthy flavor base. Combine autumn’s apples and pears to make a versatile natural sweetener, with no sugar added. Find out what apple-pear syrup tastes like, where to find it and how to make your own at home.
This article wraps up the sugarmaking season with a few tips, tricks, and helpful advice gleaned from another year in the sugarbush.
Sugar maple is not the only tree that produces abundant sap in late winter and early spring. Sycamore; black walnut; paper, black, and yellow birch trees; and all maples trees can be tapped for their sap.
However, some are sweeter than others. Here are lessons for backyard maple tapping and things to consider before beginning to make your own maple syrup.
When the sap gets drippin', it's time to get itchin' for tapping the maple trees and making syrup!
This article is part three in Julie’s sugar-making series and will show you how to boil maple sap into syrup, how to filter it after boiling, and how to bottle it for storage.
This article is part two in Julie’s sugar-making series and will show you how to collect and store sap, and prepare your sugar shack or boiling room to get ready to make pure maple syrup.
This article will answer common questions about collecting maple sap and making maple syrup. It will walk the beginner through the first steps of gathering tapping supplies, drilling the taphole, and getting started on becoming a sugarmaker.
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Cam and Michelle enjoy a visit to their neighbour's "sugar shack" during maple syrup season!