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Maple Syrup-Tap Sap & Boil, By Gary Howey

    Where we call home, Nebraska & South Dakota, where patriotism is important to us with agriculture leading the way, it is not uncommon to see John Deere and Case IH farming equipment working the fields and traveling down our roads.

  While the northeast, in the New England states, it is their beautiful fall foliage and of course Maple syrup.

  The main ingredient in Maple syrup is the sap of all varieties of Maple trees, trees I and other kids climbed on and made forts in, as I did in Watertown, S.D., The sugar, black, red, the silver maple and the box elder, which is a Maple tree. 

  In order to extract the sap, the trees need to be tapped and the sap needs to be boiled down, removing the water, which  can be a time consuming process, but the end-results are worth it, yielding one of Mother Nature’s sweetest gifts, Maple syrup.

  The origin of making Maple syrup goes back in history a long ways with the American Indians the first to make the syrup; they eventually passed their knowledge onto the European immigrants who sailed to America, with Maple syrup made each spring since that time.

  Several years ago, I was asked if I though filming one of our Outdoorsmen Adventures television shows on making Maple syrup might be of interest to our viewers. The individual had been making syrup for several years, is one of the few tree tappers in my area.

  Unfortunately, last year before we had an opportunity to get together, we had both gotten busy and he had finished with the process.

  Then, just last week, good friend and Team Outdoorsmen Adventures member Bill Christensen, Hartington, Nebraska  mentioned he was going out to check the Maple trees he tapped this year, as the season was coming to an end  with the sap flow decreasing.

   Earlier in February, he tapped sixteen Maples, putting out collection buckets and since then had collected a large quantity of the sap from the trees.

  They say that any Maple will work when gathering sap to make Maple Syrup, including Silver, Sugar, Red as well as the Box Elder Maple. [Read more…]