Our approach to learning new things — like, say, making maple syrup — could fairly be called a “Learning-Based Approach,” and could perhaps more honestly be described as “slightly willy-nilly.” It goes generally like this:
- Get interested in new hobby or skill
- Read just a little bit online
- Buy the requisite materials — or the materials for a cheaper DIY approximation
- Get excited and give it a go
- Something goes less than perfectly and get frustrated
- Do the troubleshooting reading that should have been included in Step 2
- Make adjustments
- Things go well and get happy again
Books on Making Maple Syrup
There are, of course, plenty of books on making maple syrup. If you have the time, by all means, go read those and stop reading this right now. (See if you can buy them from a local bookseller, though.)
Shorter Online Resources for Making Maple Syrup
But maybe you don’t have the time for that (like you’re busy reading books on other important topics), or money for that (like you’re paying for flour to make the pancakes that will soak up your syrup), or the attention for that (like you’re ).
Anyway, here are the short online resources for making maple syrup that we have found to be useful for a beginner, and a beginner looking to do a small number of taps (say, 5–15) at minimal expense.
- An overview of what you’ll need and the process — from Massachusetts Maple Producers Association
- Slightly more-in depth overview that encourages more DIY methods for sap collection and boiling — from Cornell Cooperative Extension
- Some research on how the size of the tap hole impacts tree health and amount of sap — from the University of Vermont (UVM)
- On identifying the right maples and collecting sap — from Our One Acre Farm
- On the boiling, filtering, and canning — from Our One Acre Farm
Note: When you get more time on your hands, UVM’s Proctor Maple Research Center has cool publications on syrup production.
More to come on our first-timer adventures into the Land of Sticky Sweet! Stay tuned.