Sugaring Season Turns Sour, Warm Winter Slashes Maple Crop

Syrup

 

In a typical year, Bay State producers of maple syrup run full steam from February into March – and sometimes into April. But 2012 has been far from normal. The sap started its run in January and by early March was virtually tapped out.

Although stockpiles from last year will keep consumers from experiencing shortages and price hikes, this year’s poor harvest hurts farmers who rely on sugaring for income and foodies who love to ‘buy local.’

“We made about 25 percent of our normal amount of finished syrup,” said Matt Celona, crops manager at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln. Celona oversees a team of volunteers, hired help and farm staff at Drumlin, a demonstration farm and sanctuary run by Mass Audubon.

Celona cited stressed maple trees and unusual weather for the decrease. A pest infestation last year caused Drumlin’s sugar maples to drop their leaves in early fall. As a result, “this year the team put in about half the taps of a normal season, 60 instead of 120.”

Just as bad, due to unusually high temperatures, “our trees stopped running about three weeks to a month earlier than normal.”

Sugaring operations at Gaining Ground fared better. The Concord-based hunger relief group taps sugar maples at dozens of locations in Concord and Carlisle, including Emerson Field, the Concord and Carlisle libraries, South Burying Place and Towle Field, as well as private residences.

“Our sugaring season went surprisingly well given the strange weather, but we definitely did see some effects from the warm winter temperatures,” said Michelle de Lima, co-farm manager. 

Optimal sap flow occurs when overnight temperatures drop to the 20s and daytime temperatures reach the lower 40s. These conditions set up a kind of pump action in the trees, bringing nutrients up after a winter “sleep” to prepare the trees for budding.

“The sap ran earlier than usual, and we missed the first of the run by tapping February 9th. We collected and boiled for about a month and ended up with 27 gallons of syrup, compared to 30 gallons the last two seasons.”

Another weather related effect was lower sugar content. “We definitely found that the sap had a significantly lower sugar content than normal,” de Lima said, “and therefore yielded less syrup. This meant a lot more time and firewood went into making the syrup.”

Some commercial sugar houses decided not tap at all this year. For example, Turtle Lane Maple Farm of North Andover, the closest commercial sugarhouse to Boston, suspended sugaring for the first time since it began operations in 2004. Although no tapping is underway, owners Paul Boulanger and Kathy Gallagher have kept the farm open for tours.

Local sugaring problems were felt across the Bay State. The Mass. Maple Producers Association (MMPA) reported the majority of sugarmakers produced between 50 percent and 75 percent of a normal crop for the season. Farmers in the western part of the state – those at higher elevations – saw a better crop than those in lower-lying areas to the east.

Even Vermont, the nation’s top producer of maple products, took a hit from the weather. A Vermont sugarmakers trade group reported the state’s average production was half to two-thirds that of an average year. And sugarmakers in the Midwest (Wisconsin and Minnesota are big producers) have seen a similar trend.

It’s too early to tell exactly what economic toll this season’s poor harvest will take on Bay State farmers. The decision not to tap reportedly cost the owners of Turtle Lane Maple Farm around $10,000 (happily, both have day jobs). 

As for those who did tap, most will make something from the season, and look forward to summer. Sugaring is a way many full-time farmers earn extra cash before it’s time to start spring planting. 

“Massachusetts boasts more than 300 maple producers, who annually produce about 50,000 to 60,000 gallons of maple syrup worth almost $3 million,” according to Reggie Zimmerman of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. 

“Also, approximately $1.9 million in revenue is generated by tourism during the sugaring season… For many Massachusetts syrup producers, last year was the best ever, so there are stocks and most producers have a carryover of syrup from last year to compensate for this year.”

At Drumlin Farm, all the farm-made syrup sold out earlier this month following the farm’s  “Sap to Syrup Farmer’s Breakfast” the weekend of March 17-18. According to Celona, this year, “the breakfast was more about the sausage and the hash browns,” made of meat and potatoes produced in Lincoln. (The syrup served came from Vermont.)

Gaining Ground, however, has syrup that will be distributed to its community partners, including food pantries, shelters and meal programs throughout Greater Boston. Most will be distributed this spring, said Michelle de Lima, but some is always reserved for Thanksgiving baskets.

Kayleigh Boyle, de Lima’s co-farm manager at Gaining Ground, shared two favorite recipes for those who want to celebrate the end of the sugaring season.

 

No-Knead Maple Oatmeal Bread

3/4 cup boiling water

1 cup hot coffee

1 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup shortening

1/2 cup maple syrup

3 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp salt

 

2 packages of yeast

1/4 cup warm water

 

2 eggs

5 1/2 cups flour

Combine first 7 ingredients and let cool until lukewarm.  Dissolve 2 packages dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and add to ingredients. Stir in 2 unbeaten eggs, gradually add flour and stir until smooth.  (Add more flour for a stiffer dough.)

Place dough In a greased bowl until double in size, punch down and put into two greased loaf pans (dough may be sticky). No kneading necessary! Let rise until doubled in size, then bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves.

 

Simple Maple Popcorn*

 3 Tbsp coconut oil

1/4  cup maple syrup

3/4  cup popcorn kernels

 

*The key to this recipe is getting the temperature just right. Too low and the corn will not pop. Too high and the maple syrup will quickly burn. A standard medium heat does well. 

Begin by placing a large heavy pot (fitted with a lid) over medium heat. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and a dash of sea salt. Allow to heat until gently bubbling. Add the popcorn and cover with a lid. Keep a close eye on the liquid. If it begins to brown, lower heat slightly. 

Once corn begins to pop, keep the pot moving over heat to keep from burning. Once popping tapers off, remove lid quickly (keeping any condensation from dripping onto popcorn). Immediately transfer to a large metal bowl. Sprinkle with additional sea salt and enjoy. 

 

 

DGGP Pvt. Ltd. is a leading

DGGP Pvt. Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of Guar Fast Hydration Polymers used in Gas Oil Fields fracturing Industry in the world.
Best Guar meal korma

 

The author has written an

The author has written an excellent article. You made your point and not much to discuss. It's like this universal truth that you can not argue with the truth is not universal, everything has its exception. Thanks for this information
Mac pro reseller in delhi
Graphics automation

Location dough Within a

Location dough Within a greased bowl until finally double in proportions, strike down and placed in a pair of greased loaf pans (dough could be sticky). Absolutely no rubbing essential! Allow climb until finally bending in proportions, subsequently make in 350 degrees for forty five minutes.grammar checker free

This is a perfect recipe

This is a perfect recipe you've shared on us, I will try this at home. -www.rolexplusbase.com

If you are going to be

If you are going to be working in just about any job environment, occupational health and safety is very important to the quality of your life. You need to make sure that everyone who works there also knows about fundamental steps and procedures that should be followed to achieve the highest level of health possible in the workplace. upper dental

High security fencing is

High security fencing is taller than the average barricade. The additional height is supposed to help reduce the number of people that can climb over the materials the enclosure is constructed of and get to the inside perimeter of the property. On prisons and areas that are in charge of extreme security measures the top of this material would have a barbed wire known as razor wire on it. www.all-around-construction.com

The key to this recipe is

The key to this recipe is getting the temperature just right.

buy soundcloud plays
buy soundcloud comments

Maximum sap flow happens

Maximum sap flow happens when over night temperature ranges drop to the 20s and day time temperature ranges reach the lower 40s. These conditions set up a kind of push action in the plants, providing nutritional value up after a winter “sleep” to prepare the plants for aspiring.spss-research

Every weekend i used to pay

Every weekend i used to pay a visit this web site, because i wish for enjoyment, as this this site conations actually nice funny information too.

?

so I wasn't used to drawing

so I wasn't used to drawing the donkey . Mp3 players run from 128 Mb to 10 Gb of memory. Multichipmodules are a messy hack.!

Hello My Dear Friends, Users

Hello My Dear Friends, Users Forum !

The Company In-Disguise . Com

Anonymous Internet Surfing, Anonymous Downloading-Uploading Torrent-P2P, Amonymous WiFI.
In-Disguise . Com - Fully Automatic and Anonymous VPN Service , you don’t have to waste time on:

1 - Search Supports if disconnected from a server, search for a standard installation “OpenVPN client”
spend time for installing downloaded configs to the program.
Subscribe to All Servers of Our Service for 9 Euro; 3 months = 20 Euro; 6 months = 35 Euro; 1 year = 55 Euro.

2 - Unique “VPN Client” is easy to install on all kinds of Operating Systems: MAC / Windows / Linux!!!
Will allow you to switch easily between the VPN servers in USA / DE / UK / IT / NL / LU / EG / PA / RO / MY Continuing
Types of VPN connections included in a single subscription - DoubleVPN and OpenVPN.

3 - Company Takes All Kinds Of Payments in Full Auto Mode!
WebMoney / Visa / Master Card / PayPal / Liberty Reserve / BitCoin / SMS and many others.

Our VPN Service Is Here!

in-disguise . com

ICQ: 6906911

Sincerely, Your Anonymous VPN Service : In-Disguise . Com

Ask Henry

Have a low impact living question? Want to reduce your carbon footprint?

Why Conserve?

"Around the world, there has been a three-fold increase in extreme weather events over the past three decades."

From company, Munich Re via the Boston Globe

Donate

Act local, think global. Help support Concord Conserves.org and local environmental programs.

Concord Conserves
152 Commonwealth Ave
Concord, MA 01742 USA
1 (978) 369-2472

Cultivated + nurtured by
Bartlett Interactive