It’s maple sugar time in southern Ohio!
In February, maple sugar makers reap the benefits of this historic craft by tapping the trees and gathering sap as it moves about inside the tree. The sap contains the food (a kind of sugar) that will support the growth of new leaves when the right time comes for the buds to burst forth in leaf and flower. Late winter is the only time of year that conditions are right for the production and collection of the crystal clear, faintly sweet sap. When distilled by boiling, maple sap yields the thick, sweet sticky, liquid gold that is maple syrup.
Here are some fun facts about maple syrup:
1 – It is uniquely North American, commercially made only in the United States and Canada.
2 – It takes 35 to 45 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup.
3 – One gallon of syrup can be further concentrated to yield seven pounds of sugar.
Do you like maple syrup? The annual Maple Sugar Days event at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve will be held this year on February 23 and 24 from 12pm to 5pm each day. At Maple Sugar Days you will have opportunity to taste several foods prepared with maple syrup, take a hike through the sugarbush, watch the boiling, visit a Native American style sugar camp, see a movie and participate in several other maple activities. You will also find Nature’s Niche well stocked with maple products at this time of year. It’s the perfect way to say good bye to winter, as the swelling buds on the maple trees signify the end of maple sugar time and the beginning of spring. SWEET!
Penny Borgman, Naturalist