Making maple syrup is a fairly basic process! Start with a tree, a drill, and some taps and tubes . . . add a bucket and a way to boil the sap with a couple filters . . . and you pretty much have everything you need to be a sugarmaker. Of course, having the right tools for each step makes life so much easier! We'll keep you supplied in tapping tools and filters but we'd love to share our favorites for the other things you'll need! If you read our articles, these are the exact tools we use because they work.
Thermometer -- paddle style is easy to read, clip keeps it in place, and metal cage protects the glass. Order here
Sieve Stand -- these may be made for jam making but our one-quart filters fit these perfectly, giving you both hands for handling hot syrup. Order here
Quilted Jars -- small, 8 ounce canning jars cut with a diamond pattern so your syrup will sparkle. Perfect for gifts! Order here.
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For first time tappers (and sometimes, even seasoned sugarmakers), finding your sugar maples in the woods can be much harder than you expect! You think you’ll remember where they are but when everything is gray, brown, and white, the trees start to look the same! And with no leaves (or even trails) to point you in the right direction, [...]
Since sugar shacks opened, pure maple syrup was graded by color and sugar content and each region kind of did its own thing. Yes, it was always sweet and delicious but the consistency across the country (or internationally) was just not there. So in 2014, the International Maple Syrup Institute proposed a change to the grading system which has been [...]
From the Paleo Diet to Sugarbusters to the South Beach Diet – every diet craze that’s swept the country has had one thing in common: avoiding refined sugars. But what to do when your sweet tooth doesn’t agree? Try pure maple syrup! This all-natural organic sweetener is completely unrefined (other than boiling off the water) and if you make [...]
Tapping season 2017 will be another year that most areas saw a very early sap run. In some areas, folks started collecting sap in mid-January and their sugarbush production has stopped or significantly slowed down. So does this mean the season is over?So many sugarmakers have been asking this question, we thought we’d go to [...]
Now here's some fun news from our friends in Canada. This innovative group is bringing sugarmaking to every urban backyard. Now in their second season, the Urban Sugaring Project offers homeowners the chance to rent a tapping bucket, bring their sap in, and go home with maple syrup. And, of course, have a delicious pancake [...]
Have you been thinking about starting a maple syrup business? Find out more from our friends at University of Michigan Extension. They are putting on an upcoming webinar which we thought you might be interested in. Hosted by Bob and Sue Battel of Battel's Sugar Bush, it will cover all the basics include tapping, collecting, [...]
For those of you who’ve joined our elite group (well, we’re not really elite but we do get to call ourselves sugarmakers which you have to admit is pretty cool!), the natural second season question is: how can I get more syrup? Well, as you’ve probably already guessed, you can only get more syrup by collecting more sap. [...]
Have you been waiting to try this hobby because it seems too complicated? We promise (and really, we’re not biased!!) that this is one of the easiest to learn and most fun for the family hobbies we’ve ever tried. Seriously give it a go this year, we know you’ll like it! And with all the [...]
Can we toot our own horn for a bit? Our book author, Julie Fryer, is now a regular contributor to the Mother Earth News Blog! This online resource is the go-to guide for homesteaders, do-it-yourselfers, gardeners, and just about everyone interested in the outdoors. Julie is posting a series of blogs based on her research and experience with [...]