At Southernmost Maple the old meets the new. We hang 1,000 sap buckets on the trees which are gathered by hand daily. There are also many miles of modern, plastic tubing to collect the sap. The amount collected depends on the weather. Freezing and thawing actually increases the sap production. It takes 40 gallons of boiled down sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.
Maple syrup can be used on pancakes, waffles, French toast, to sweeten apple sauce, in milkshakes, tea, coffee, on fresh fruit, to add flavor to baked beans, to mix with butter and glaze squash, sweet potatoes or carrots, on baking powder biscuits, fresh donuts, over ice cream, hot cereal, corn fritters, baked apples, custards, etc. etc. The list goes on.
Maple Syrup has about the same 50 calories a tablespoon as white cane sugar, but also contains significant amounts of potassium (35 mg/Tbsp) small amounts of iron and phosphorus, and trace amounts of B-vitamins. Its sodium content is a low 2 mg/tbsp.
Unopened containers of maple syrup should be stored in a cool, dry place. Once opened, maple syrup should be refrigerated or even frozen for long term storage.
Some interesting things about maple syrup:
A maple tree is usually at least 4 years old and 10 inches in diameter before it is tapped.
Tapping does no permanent damage to the tree and only about 10% of the sap is collected each year.
Each tap yields an average of 10 gallons of sap per season. That yields about one quart of syrup.
Warm sunny days (above 40 degrees F) and frosty nights are ideal for sap flow.
The Maple season may last four to six weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for 10 to 20 days.
The harvest season ends with the arrival of warm spring nights and early bud development in the trees.
A gallon of pure Maple syrup weighs 11 pounds.