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Maple Syrup Production, Pancake Breakfast and a Road Trip

Updated on February 13, 2011
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Maple Sugaring Part 1

Maple Sugaring Part 2

Maple Syrup Production

Maple syrup is made from maple sugar trees which grow in the northern climates of southeastern Canada and northeastern United States.  Maple syrup season is in late winter to early spring, for about four to six weeks, when the temperature at night is below zero and the daytime temperature is above zero.  This temperature fluctuation creates an internal pressure in the maple tree that causes sap to flow.  When the sap flows, it is “sugar weather.”  The activities involved in making maple syrup are called “sugaring,” and were taught to early North American settlers by Native Americans.          

The methods for harvesting maple syrup are the same as they were 100 years ago.  The methods used to get the sap to the boiling location or “sugar house” varies somewhat.  Hobby and small producers carry buckets.  Large commercial producers use plastic tubing systems.    

If you have access to a few maple trees, you can make your own maple syrup.  With a little extra processing, you can make maple sugar, candy, fudge, nougat, cream or other products.  Besides making great pancake syrup, maple syrup makes a delicious glaze for grilled salmon or pork roast.  It can add flavor to a sweet potato casserole and soften a pecan pie.  Maple syrup products make great gifts for family and friends.

A good maple tree for sugaring is about 10 inches round; which is about 40 years of growth.  Any species of maple tree can be used for syrup, but in Ohio sugar and black maples are preferred.  Maple syrup is made by boiling off water from the sap until a desired sugar concentration is achieved.  Sugar and black maples have higher sap content than red and silver maples.  Less sap is needed and less time and energy is required to make syrup from sugar and black maples.  The syrup from red and silver maple still tastes very good. 

Tapping a tree involves drilling a 3 inch hole into the trunk, inserting a spout into the hole, and attaching a bucket with a lid to the spout.  Up to three taps can be drilled into each tree.  Each tap can produce up to 10 gallons of sap in a good season.  It takes 10 gallons of sap to produce a quart of syrup or 40 gallons of sap to produce a gallon of syrup.  Tapping does not harm the trees.  Some trees are known to have been tapped continuously for over 100 years. 

The sap looks like water and tastes like sugar water.  It is a clear liquid that is about 98% water and 2% sugar.  The sap is collected and taken to the sugarhouse.  Sugaring is the process of boiling down the sap and converting it to syrup.  After boiling, the syrup is filtered, graded and bottled.  Correct temperature conditions must be met during the boiling and bottling process to assure the highest quality of syrup. 

In Ohio, the demand for maple products exceeds production.  The market is wide open for Ohio woodland owners who want to supplement their income or diversify.  While there are significant start-up costs, rapid recovery of investment is possible due to the worldwide demand for maple products that can only be produced in a small region of the world.  Generally, a 500 tap or larger operation is needed to generate significant supplemental income for a household.  About 70% of maple products are sold “farm-gate” – on the property where they are produced.  The remaining products are sold at craft shows, gift shops, farmer’s markets, or are sold wholesale to retail packers.  

State Maple Producers Associations

See the links below for information about maple production in some of the maple producing states. These links have information about maple farm tours and where to purchase maple products:

North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual: Second Edition

This manual is intended to serve as a basic handbook for the production of pure maple products. Current information and recommendations relating to all aspects of the industry are presented. These guidelines should be helpful to the hobby and beginni
This manual is intended to serve as a basic handbook for the production of pure maple products. Current information and recommendations relating to all aspects of the industry are presented. These guidelines should be helpful to the hobby and beginni | Source

Pancake Breakfast and a Road Trip

The Geauga County Historical Society is hosting its Annual Pancake Breakfast at Century Village in Burton, Ohio during its maple sugaring time. Visitors can taste the maple syrup that is grown there and learn about maple syrup production.  The pancake breakfast includes all you can eat pancakes with maple syrup, sausage, omelets, and applesauce.  The museum store will be open, where gift packages of maple syrup and apple butter can be purchased.

This event is held every Sunday from March 6 to April 3, 2011.  The March 20th date is also Buzzard Sunday in Hinckley, Ohio.  The two events are an hour drive from each other.  The events could be separate full day road trips or combined for a one day road trip on March 20th

A
14653 East Park, Burton, Ohio:
14653 E Park St, Burton, OH 44021, USA

get directions

Sundays 3/6/2011, 3/13/2011, 3/20/2011, 3/27/2011, 4/3/2011 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

B
West Drive & State Road, Hinckley, Ohio:
State Rd & West Dr, Hinckley, OH 44233, USA

get directions

Buzzard Sunday March 20, 2011 9am-2:30pm

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    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      6 years ago

      LOL. That's funny. Sounds like you had a very satisfying breakfast:) Thanks for the very specific feedback - comprehensive and readable; I like that a lot. I do like weeding through the details, although it is usually very hard work and time consuming. Thanks for noticing.

    • hhunterr profile image

      hhunterr 

      6 years ago from Highway 24

      Pancakes and this hub were for breakfast today, so just wanted to relay how comprehensive and readable this was. I thoroughly enjoyed the detail.

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      I hope you still enjoy it, now that you know! Thanks for reading and commenting Mary.

    • Mary Stuart profile image

      Mary 

      7 years ago from Washington

      I eat a lot of maple syrup and now I know where it comes from. Thanks!

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      what great memories! Taste memories even:).... and sales experience too. Thanks for stopping in to read and comment, Ken.

    • Ken Barton profile image

      Ken Barton 

      7 years ago

      Great Hub on making maple syrup. I grew up on maple syrup, we use to go door to door taking orders and selling maple syrup for my Uncle Everett. He had a large dairy farm in N. Clymer, NY., and a syrup house we use to love to visit when he was busy making syrup. We use to sample the syrup right out of the evaporator in the syrup house. Ummm, good! By the way, thanks for following me.

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      It all sounds a little sappy to me, epi. It has been awhile. Thanks for stopping by....and keep cranking out those epigrams.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 

      7 years ago

      ..woweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!! this is so very exciting hearing from you my friend - it's been a little while - and I will always remember and thank you for my poetic tribute to the epi-man and of course one of my favorites here by you (of all time) TALE OF TWO HUBBERS ....and yes I certainly would mind taking a ROAD TRIP and having a PANCAKE BREAKFAST with you because that would be a real MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCTION!!!!!

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      Trader Jack's couldn't ask for better publicity! Thanks ocbill.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 

      7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      Yes, I have to satisfy this pancake craving soon and I do embrace the cold weather,high 30s & 40s, for a few months versus shorts and sandals year long.

      And Vern the TJs near me open at 8. They do have good syrup.

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      @ mentalist acer. LOL!!! I never tasted an oak or pine tree either. When I think of sap, I do think of pine trees. I wonder if pine sap is tapped, and if so, what it's used for. hmmm. another hub, perhaps. thanks menatalist.

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      @dahaglund - that sounds like a fun experience. It would be a fun field trip for kids too.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      It seems,to me,that the Maple tree be a miracle as the pine and oak trees of abundance in my area taste awful,lol.;)

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I did volunteer work at a local historical site and did watch demonstrations of maple sugar making. Interesting subject.

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      Vern! Hi. You'll have to take a road trip! I liked all the recipes myself. I just might buy a jug of maple syrup and try some of those glazes or the sweet potato casserole. I'm not even remotely hungry, but it still sounds good. mmm mmm mmm.

    • vrbmft profile image

      Vernon Bradley 

      7 years ago from Yucaipa, California

      Hi Kim

      So now what? I am sitting here in Southern California. Trader Joes, the best place to get Maple Syrup at a decent price, is closed and it is close to midnight, so, let's see. I have some cornbread mix in the cupboard, but store will not open till 9 tomorrow. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? You should have a warning at the beginning of the hub.

      I like the description of the tapping. Knew it was something like that, but did not know the details and the entire process. Wow, a lot of sap for relatively little syrup.

      Enjoyed maple syrup in New England, especially in a town called Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. A long time ago.

      THANKS FOR A GREAT WATERY, APPETIZING, SYRUPY HUB

      vERN

    • kimh039 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Harris 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Tony. We have oak trees in our yard; no maple trees:( At least we can get it in the store or on a road trip!

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 

      7 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Informative hub Kim. Wish the trees grew here- love maple syrup!

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