For Ohio winters, this year has been relatively mild. In fact, this year was the earliest since 1980 that maple tree tapping season occurred. Maple sap flows best when temperatures are above freezing during the day and below freezing at night. Here are four reasons why you should consider putting a spile in the sugar maple in your backyard.
1) It increases your lumberjack cred.
Facial hair is in. Google “facial hair fad” and bunches of articles come up talking about the “beard boom.” Facial hair has been shown to make you appear more masculine and attractive. Tapping your maple trees is masculine and will bring out your inner Paul Bunyan. Tapping maple trees was our ancestors’ trip to the candy store — tapping maple trees puts you that much more in touch with your primitive side.
2) Maple sap is nature’s vitamin water
If you haven’t tried maple sap straight from the tree, put that one on your bucket list. Maple sap contains 16 times the potassium and 37 times the calcium and nearly 4 times the amount of magnesium in spring water. Maple sap has been shown, in mice, to improve osteoporosis-like symptoms, to prevent gastric ulcer formation, to lower blood pressure, to mitigate hangovers, to support the immune system, and to supply antioxidants. Oh, and did I mention that it tastes great too?
3) Boiling down the maple syrup: if you do most of it outside it’s an excuse to play with fire; if you do it inside, on the stove, WITH A VENT FAN, it heats your home.
Ever wonder why real maple syrup is so expensive? I’m not talking about the fake maple syrup that is just sugar or high fructose corn syrup with maple flavoring. (You know what they say about how you get fake maple syrup — tap a telephone pole.) I’m talking about real life grade A or B maple syrup. In 2012 over 6 million gallons of maple syrup was stolen from a Canadian stockpile. You may have thought, gee, that’s stupid — someone really wants some pancakes — except when you consider that maple syrup sells for $37/gallon which brings the the total value of that stolen maple syrup to about $18 million — leading this to be called the Great Maple Syrup Heist. Part of the reason why maple syrup is this expensive, is because of the time and fuel that it takes to boil off the water to concentrate the natural sugar content of the sap. Sap is about 2% sugar and it roughly takes 40 gallons of maple sap boiled down to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. Build a big fire and grab an old pot and boil the water off outside — this is an excuse to get outside in the winter and build a fire! Be safe, but let out your inner pyro just a little bit 🙂 Once you’ve boiled off most the water bring it inside to finish it off.
If you don’t have room to boil it off outside, boil it on the stove in your kitchen — only if you have a good vent fan to help vent out the water vapor, otherwise the excess water vapor given off may damage the walls, ceiling, or paint in your kitchen. Grab a book to read and a spoon to stir the sap/syrup and enjoy the warmth given off as you boil down!
4)Real, HOMEMADE maple syrup tastes INCREDIBLE!
Have you ever had HOMEMADE ice cream? How about HOMEMADE root beer? There’s something amazingly powerful about being responsible for producing or making the food you eat. It’s like eating your pancakes with maple syrup imbued with meaning! It just plain tastes better. Maybe it is the work that you put in to it that enriches the taste, but you can’t beat backyard homemade maple syrup. Nectar of the gods!
Resonate & Align
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