Home Syruping: Finding Solace in Traditional Skills During a Time of Social Distancing

| 3/25/2020 11:22:00 AM


While we are besieged by a health epidemic, the likes of which we, in this country, and around the world, hoped to never experience, I am learning new skills.

I live on the rocky coast of Maine, a state famous for its independent spirit, rugged individualism, and never-give-up attitude. When the going gets tough, Mainers find a way through. Mainers are used to fending for themselves, helping each other out, and sticking together when the going gets tough. This is tough.

As a state, so far, we are not besieged by what’s happening in other places like New York, California, Italy, Spain, and Korea. (At least not as of this writing.) We are lucky, and we know it. As a transplant, I can say I see resilience in the people here unlike I’ve known. That resilience has rubbed off on me over the 11 years I’ve been calling Maine home.

Tapping Maple Trees On a Maine Property

This year, with more time being spent here on the farm, and here on the coast enjoying an easy end of winter, I decided it was time to try my hand at tapping into resources right here: my maple trees. Last week, I went to the local hardware store and came home with two metal taps, the kind you use to draw sap from trees to make syrup.

Every year in Maine, one whole weekend is dedicated to educating folks about making maple syrup. This coming weekend would normally be it, but due to social distancing, it is on hold, for now. Maple trees respond to the weather, not the calendar, so in spite of viruses and distancing, the sap is flowing. It takes warm days and cool nights to trigger the sap moving. Right now, that’s what we’re getting.

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