Maple syrup is Michigan’s “liquid gold.” It takes 40 gallons of sap from sugar maples to boil down to 1 gallon of syrup. Michigan ranks in the Top 10 in Maple Syrup Production in the United States. Check our favorite ways to incorporate maple syrup into our diets here.
Maple syrup production is a strong aspect of the history of the Alcona FFA chapter. However, it wasn’t until 2005 through 2007 that the Alcona FFA chapter wrote grants to build their own maple syrup production facility for pure Michigan maple syrup at Alcona Community High School. This dream came true; and in 2007, we built what was to become the Alcona FFA Sugar Shack. The Sugar Shack was added to a log cabin previously existing on our school’s property. Since the spring of 2009, we have hosted Maple Syrup Celebration Day at our facility – and this spring will be no different –marking the 10th Anniversary of this event!
This year marked the 6th Annual Michigan Maple Weekend (March 24th-25th in NE Michigan), although the weather didn’t want to cooperate. There’s a pattern of freezing and thawing once spring hits, which builds up pressure within the trees and causes sap to flow. It was bitterly cold as I walked around 4D Acre Maple to check out their set up.
“You can’t make syrup just anywhere. It requires all the seasons to prompt the trees to give their sweet nectar! The long nights of Winter eventually give way to Spring, and then the hustle and bustle of the syrup season brings sweet reward.”
Join me this month as we’ll take a look into the lives of two maple syrup farmers, Margo and Allen Ammons, as they share their love for syrup making, the joy of being outside in the woods, and the anticipation of the season.