Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Maple update

So it seems as though our maple sugar experiments are over for this year. Th' weather across th' country just wasn't right for it this year, and i won't be surprised to see maple syrup prices go up quite a bit after this spring. Of course th' prices at whole foods market will most likely stay th' same, or only go up a dollar a quart- they're big enough to be able to do that. But, with that said, when you buy that cheap syrup, it comes from a forest looking something like this...

Now, without going into th' pro's (if there are any) and cons of hooking up all th' maple trees to an IV tube, and making th' forest resemble a hospital, which it should be the very antithesis of, it would be well to consider getting syrup from people who still know how to collect sap and boil it down using traditional methods. People who learned it from their parents, who learned it from their parents, etc... Sometimes this syrup will be more expensive, but what happens when all those folk are gone and somebody wants to learn to tap trees the old fashioned way? Well, there's no one left to ask, so we start all over at square one.
We've found a couple who still use real buckets, Dan and Adrienne Nelson, they haul 'em all in by hand and cart, and boil th' sap down into syrup. There's many out there, but we just happened upon these guys.  They actually sell their syrup for $40-$45 a gallon, nearly half th' price of th' cheap whole foods brand, with a $10 mailing fee, you're paying $50 a gallon. Their syrup forest looks like this

West View Sugar Bush
The owners are a nice couple, i called them on th' phone and talked to them a bit about their syrup, asked for a gallon, and they shipped it out to me. It's good syrup too, and all th' money is going directly to a family dedicated to preserving traditional ways of life, instead of being filtered through th' corporate system where workers make minimum wage and farmers sell their syrup for way too little. To purchase their syrup, Contact Dan at West View Sugar Bush, 715-564-2527, just call him up and ask him for some syrup like i did, he's a great guy. Thanks Dan.

One gallon of pure Wisconsin Maple Syrup

Ok, i think that about sums it up for now, i hope your spring is well, and packed full of many surprises and adventures.


  1. It a pity I don't live your way or their way! I love maple syrup and can only buy small expensive bottles of it over here. I have looked for maple sugar too but not found any anywhere...:-(

    That "hospital" forest really is a disgrace isn't it. Sad to see what "making money" make people do.

  2. I see no difference between this and puppy mills -- they're both abusive to the environment and respecting life. I like that you made the choice to not tap your trees, this year. It's been unseasonably warm here, too. And, because of that, I didn't even plan a spring garden, but went straight to a summer garden. I had so few years when I have been able to have a spring garden that, now that I'm older, I may just have a summer garden and enjoy my old age. Thanks for the resource. I'm going to give them a call.

    1. puppy mills? do you mean dog farms? if so, that's absolutely horrifying... just read a good quote from gandhi... i think this applies to animals as well "What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another." Good luck with your garden