This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sap's rising

I spent a couple days in Indianapolis this past week and visited Southeastway Park, where the staff was making maple syrup. This brought back some memories--when I was a student with the Benedictine monks in Minnesota, I helped out one day with their maple-syrup-making operation, which was very much like this one. Below you can see the heating apparatus used to condense the sap into syrup. I asked if it they got one gallon of syrup for 40 gallons of sap and was told that was what people in New England get. The people here are lucky to get one gallon of finished syrup for fifty gallons of sap. A lot of boiling is required to get rid of all the surplus water.
Out in the woods buckets on the maple trees were collecting the sap. This is the earliest that the park has ever begun maple syrup production, but the trees are ready. These pictures were taken February 1, a warm day that had quite a few people out visiting the park.
Does anyone in Jasper County or the neighboring counties make maple syrup? The park said that they could not sell it, but could give it away for a donation. They also use it in educational programs. I suspect that the large amount of labor involved would make it a money-losing business even if we had enough maple trees in our wooded areas to provide large amounts of sap.


Anonymous said...

What kind of "sap" comment would you like here? It is tempting. It would be educational and interesting, too, to collect the maple sap.

Anonymous said...

Pretty cool!! I've always wondered about how to make maple syrup. :) Can't believe the trees are ready this early in the year!