Check out this adorable sign from the maple farm! There are four within our region, some offering pancake breakfasts and horse-drawn sleigh rides through the maple trail. Mom asked if I wanted to go out when I arrived home from spring break, and I thought all I want to do is lay around and do nothing. But the maple farm is only open to the public twice a year, or so she said, and I have a total of 8 other days to sit around and watch t.v. When I called my job at the VA, they reported back about a hiring freeze. Freeze? Hiring? VA? They seemed to know little about it other than the fact I couldn’t come back. So here I sit- slouch rather- twiddling my thumbs over spring break. I’ve been outside a few times already. I even cracked a book. Best of all, I’ve blogged.
Looking at this map, it looks like Canada and the Northeastern part of the States are the only places cold enough to have sugar maple. How lucky! For those like me who are clueless about maple, it’s pretty simple. 1. Maple is drawn out of the trees through tubes with a small vacuum pump 2. Sap runs through a reverse-osmosis machine that essentially removes the extra water 3. Maple is brought to a near boil to condense it further and make it sweeter.
Maple syrup starts light and gets darker later in the season. The farm we went to had all sorts of products, from maple mustard to maple cotton candy, maple cream, coffee, and sweets. They were also growing hops in the backyard. But it was a bad season, the owner said, because it’s been too warm. There has to be a balance between freezing nights and warmer days for sap to flow. Better luck next year.
More on growing your own maple and the confusing VA job freeze: