Showing posts from February, 2019

2019 Maple Sugaring - Scaling Up

The 2019 maple sugaring season has been in full swing for approximately three weeks and we have already produced more than 3 times the syrup we did in 2018. This year we scaled up significantly, tapping 6 times as many trees.  We built a custom natural gas evaporator and reverse osmosis (RO) system to deal with the increase in sap. So far the setup has been working great, with evaporation rates reaching 4 gallons per hour after cutting 50% of the water out of the sap with the RO. The weather seems to be cooperating and after a cold spell early this week we should be boiling Wednesday through Saturday!

Black History and Maple Sugaring

February ... the month when we celebrate Black History and make maple syrup. A brief trip back in history will illuminate why it is perfect that these align. In the 1780s and 1790s, after the American Revolution, another revolution was beginning: the maple sugar revolution. This revolution was opposed to the enslavement of Africans and the cane sugar industry, and sought to undercut its evil economics. Abolitionists were joined by Dr. Benjamin Rush and a group of Quakers to advance this revolution. Dr. Rush's goal was "to lessen or destroy the consumption of West Indian sugar, and thus indirectly to destroy negro slavery." They were later joined by Thomas Jefferson, who wrote to a friend in 1790, "What a blessing to substitute a sugar which requires only the labour of children, for that which is said renders the slavery of the blacks necessary." Jefferson strongly urged farmers in the north to expand their operations to include sugaring, stating, &