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News stories tagged with "maple-syrup"

Photo: David Sommerstein
Photo: David Sommerstein

Finally, a sign of spring: Maple Weekend is here

Looking for that real sign of spring? Don't look out the window. New York's first crop of 2014 is coming in. The sugar shanties will be going full bore this weekend for the state's official Maple Weekend. There are some celebrations around the region and plenty of places to taste the freshest maple syrup.

New York is the country's second biggest producer of the sweet nectar, behind Vermont. Producers will put out more than 2 million taps this spring.

New York's Acting Commissioner of Agriculture Richard Ball spoke with David Sommerstein. He says it's the time to celebrate a tradition and an economic driver.  Go to full article
The tap...
The tap...

Listen: In Canton, tapping trees for syrup

The immediate forecast isn't ideal for making maple syrup, but it's coming: that combination of cold nights, warm days and sunshine. Chickadees get busy, and the sap rises.

Whether your operation includes a bulk holding tank and miles of plastic tubing, or just a few buckets hanging off the trees in the backyard, it all starts the same way, with a strategically placed hole in a sugar maple.


Today's Heard Up North was first broadcast in March 2010.  Go to full article
A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. Photo: Todd Moe
A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. Photo: Todd Moe

Sugaring season is underway

It may not feel like spring outside yet, but it's coming. The days are getting longer, the sun is higher in the sky, and the sap buckets are out.

Jeffrey Jenness of Orebad Sugar Shack in DeKalb Junction says February was a slow month for sugaring. When he spoke with Julie Grant earlier this week, Jenness had only collected a couple hundred gallons of sap. For an operation like his, that's not enough to get the equipment dirty and start making syrup. He's hoping for better days ahead.  Go to full article
Brett McLeod over the evaporator
Brett McLeod over the evaporator

Neighbors gather for a warm-weather "boil"

The unusually warm weather this March hasn't been great for sugar makers. Maple syrup yields across northern New York and Vermont have been low, and a lot of producers are pulling their taps. But in spite of the strange temperatures, sugaring traditions remain alive and well. Sarah Harris went to an Adirondack "boil" and sent this audio postcard.  Go to full article
The tap...
The tap...

Heard Up North: tapping the trees

Cold nights, warm days, sunshine: chickdees are busy, and the sap is rising. It all adds up to maple syrup season. Whether your operation includes a bulk holding tank and miles of plastic tubing, or just a few buckets hanging off the trees in the backyard, it all starts the same way, with a strategically placed hole in a sugar maple.

And it's today's Heard Up North, produced by Martha Foley.  Go to full article
A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. Photo: Todd Moe
A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. Photo: Todd Moe

Loans up to $40,000 available for NC maple producers

Many North Country Maple producers can now tap into a new loan fund to help them increase the amount of syrup they produce. The Development authority of the North Country, or DANC, set up the program after several studies showed most maple trees in the area aren't being tapped. That means producers are missing out on a lot of potential revenue. Nora Flaherty has the details.  Go to full article
Here it is...the strategic maple reserve near Quebec City.  [Photo by Simon Trepanier]
Here it is...the strategic maple reserve near Quebec City. [Photo by Simon Trepanier]

Quebec's 'strategic maple reserve'

A couple years ago, a friend of the station e-mailed us to say she had heard something about a "strategic maple reserve"--a vast bunker of maple syrup hidden somewhere in the Great White North just in case of--well, we didn't know.

The "strategic maple reserve" fell off the radar until this spring, when David Sommerstein snooped around. Turns out it wasn't hard to find. Simon Trepanier is the director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. Trepanier's organization maintains the strategic maple reserve, and it's pretty serious. Quebec is the world's largest maple syrup maker by far. The province's 7500 producers boil down 75% of all the maple syrup on Earth.

So as more countries and more people hanker for the sweet stuff, one bad year in Quebec could turn the market upside down. That is, until the strategic maple reserve was created. Trepanier told David Sommerstein the reserve isn't as secret or mysterious as it sounds.  Go to full article
Dillon Huntley (center) and Matt Garmon talk with David Sommerstein about their maple syrup operation
Dillon Huntley (center) and Matt Garmon talk with David Sommerstein about their maple syrup operation

Heard Up North: getting serious about maple syrup

With warm, sunny days and cold nights, this week is the first serious sap run of the maple syrup season.

Yesterday, Todd Moe spoke with St. Lawrence County Maple Association president Hugh Newton. He said people who visit his sugar shanty still want to see the icon of sweetness - those metal gray buckets hanging on maple tree trunks.

"So I strategically place 'em," Newton says, "so if you're standing in the right spot, you get a picture of the buckets and it looks like the whole woods is done in buckets."

Look deeper into the woods, though, and you'll see the equipment the modern maple syrup producer relies on - plastic piping that gravity feeds sap into collection tanks, and a vacuum pump that help suck more sap out of a tree.

David Sommerstein recently went out into the spring woods in Pierrepont as maple syrup producer Dillon Huntley was hooking up a vacuum pump for the first time. He sent this Heard Up North.  Go to full article
The tap...
The tap...

Heard Up North: tapping the trees

Cold nights, warm days, sunshine: chickdees are busy, and the sap is rising. It all adds up to maple syrup season. Whether your operation includes a bulk holding tank and miles of plastic tubing, or just a few buckets hanging off the trees in the backyard, it all starts the same way, with a strategically placed hole in a sugar maple.

And it's today's Heard Up North, produced by Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Tim Driscoll (left) and Eldon Lindsay talk shop while boiling sap.
Tim Driscoll (left) and Eldon Lindsay talk shop while boiling sap.

A sweet year at the sugar shack

Right around now, anyone with a sugar bush is busy with the business of turning maple sap into syrup. It's a familiar rite of spring for many, and a delightful discovery for others. Tim Driscoll has been helping one friend or another with syrup season since childhood. About a dozen years ago, Tim and some of his old pals decided to revive a neglected sugar bush on the edge of Eldon Lindsay's dairy farm, in Kars, Ontario. They built a very simple sugar shack out of recycled barn board -- a grizzled clubhouse in the woods. The four friends sell just enough syrup to cover their costs. It's where sap boils away amid tall trees and quiet beauty. Ottawa reporter Lucy Martin dropped by to sample fresh sap, syrup and stories.  Go to full article

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