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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association
    Descriptive info: .. Home.. About Mass Maple.. About Us.. What We Do.. Contact Us.. Board of Directors.. Mass Maple Membership.. Newsletter.. Press.. Mass Maple Store.. About Maple Syrup.. How Maple Syrup is Made.. The Four Seasons of Maple.. Sap Flow.. Economics.. Recipes.. Sugar-on-Snow.. Publications and Videos.. Make your own syrup!.. Maple Bibliography.. Links.. FAQ.. Buy Maple Syrup.. Directory of MA Sugarhouses.. Map of Sugarhouse Locations.. Sugarhouse Restaurants.. Mail Order.. Wholesale.. Boston Area Demos.. March is Maple Month.. Maple Syrup Grades.. Nutritional Information.. Lodging.. Information for Sugarmakers.. Maple Tree ID.. Equipment Sources.. Making Maple Candy & Cream.. Grants available to farmers.. Asian Longhorned Beetle.. Mass Maple newsletter.. Mass Maple Logo.. Welcome.. From late February through early April, farmers in nearly every hill town village in Massachusetts honor an old New England tradition.. They take to the woods with buckets, tubing and drills to gather the sap from sugar maple trees, boiling it down to pure maple syrup.. Sugaring is the first sign of the annual agricultural awakening.. Old-man winter disappears in puffs of sweet steam from weather-beaten sugar houses.. The warmth of the evaporator and the aroma of hot syrup contrast with the lingering chill outside.. It's time for maple syrup poured over pancakes or  ...   freshly made pure maple syrup, as well as many other farm-fresh maple treats.. Some areas of western Massachusetts have many sugar houses located a short drive from each other, so its possible to take a day or weekend trip and visit more than one.. Many country inns and Bed & Breakfasts are located in maple sugaring country; write to or email our Association for more information.. MAPLE INFORMATION.. The Massachusetts Maple Phone number is (413) 628-3912.. From late February through early April, a recording about the boiling season is updated regularly.. At other times of the year, you will hear summary reports.. You may leave a message at the end of the recording if you need additional information.. Mass Maple.. Updates.. MA sugarmakers have plenty of excellent syrup of all grades available.. Look up your local sugarhouse in.. our directory.. and stop by to buy maple products!.. Join our.. Facebook.. page to stay up to date with Massachusetts sugaring news and events.. Highlights.. Find a sugarhouse restaurant.. Get information about the Asian Longhorned Beetle.. MMPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of maple sugaring in Massachusetts.. Contact Information.. PO Box 6, Plainfield, MA 01070.. T: 413-628-3912.. E:.. info@massmaple.. org..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - General Info
    Descriptive info: History.. General Info.. Our Association.. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of maple sugaring in Massachusetts.. Regular members are actively producing maple products or directly related to the maple industry.. We support ongoing research into the many factors affecting our member farms, including production practices, quality control, environmental concerns, land development pressures and long term tree health.. Our booth in the Massachusetts Building at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA (The Big E) is a great place to try a sample of the sweet treats from our woodland farms.. Please request an application for regular membership, or consider supporting our efforts with a contribution.. MAPLE SUGARING TIME.. BOIL 'TIL IT'S DONE.. The sugar maple tree, "Acer saccharum," is a sturdy native of the northeastern United States and was growing here in abundance long before the first colonists arrived.. The settlers learned sugaring from the Indians, who collected sap in hollowed-out logs and steamed away the water by dropping in hot stones.. Today, much care is taken to produce maple syrup of uniform quality and superlative flavor.. Gathering and tapping operations recognize the need to preserve the delicate balance of the sugar orchard.. Properly cared for sugar maples can be tapped at 40 years of age and will yield sap for 100 years or more.. The modern evaporator, with its wood or oil fire, helps the farmer control the quality of the product.. Syrup is checked for density, color and taste before it is graded to Federal standards and sold.. New equipment to speed the handling of highly perishable, raw sap is always being tried.. However, the formula for making maple syrup is still the same: Take a sizable stand of sugar maple trees.. Add warm days and freezing nights.. Gather the sap as it moves inside the trees, and bring it to the sugarhouse.. "Boil 'til it's done" - until you make the day's "run" (a whole day's flow of sap) into syrup.. Do this almost every day, sometimes day and night, for four to six weeks, until the nights no longer freeze.. Then clean everything and put it away until the spring crows call in the trees, "It's sugaring time again.. MAPLE EVENTS.. January.. - Massachusetts Maple Producers Association annual meeting, open to anyone interested in maple.. Call (413) 628-3912 for information.. July.. - Last Sunday.. Massachusetts Maple Producers Association summer picnic.. September.. - Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield.. Sample Massachusetts maple products at our booth in the Massachusetts building.. MAPLE PRODUCTS: A YEAR ROUND TREAT.. Although the boiling season occurs only from late February through early April, demand for pure maple products has increased in every month.. Many sugar houses listed in this brochure will ship maple products directly to you or your gift recipient.. Write or call them for mail order information.. If you would like your local Roadside Stand or specialty food store to carry Massachusetts maple syrup, send us their name and address so we can contact them about potential suppliers.. The Massachusetts crop is made by your neighbors.. It is truly part of the Commonwealth.. To view the locations of sugar houses,  ...   darker is more "mapley.. " Medium and dark amber are most widely available.. Light amber, used for maple candy and maple cream, is made early in the season; Grade B is made late.. MAPLE CANDY.. - Made by boiling down maple syrup, stirring it, and pouring it into molds for hardening.. Pure maple candy is made from maple syrup only.. Blended maple candy contains corn or cane sugars in addition to maple.. MAPLE CROP.. - An entire season's production.. Average in Massachusetts is about 50,000 gallons for the entire state.. Most of our sugar houses make between 100-1000 gallons.. REVERSE OSMOSIS.. - A mechanical means of removing some of the water from the sap before boiling.. SHELF LIFE/STORAGE.. - Unopened containers of pure maple syrup may be left in a cool dark place for 6-12 months without refrigeration.. After opening.. syrup should be refrigerated.. Freezer storage keeps open or unopened containers indefinitely, and the liquid does not solidify.. Any harmless mold that forms on the surface of opened syrup may be skimmed off, and the product may be used after reheating to 190'F.. Place reheated syrup in new, airtight containers.. SOFT SUGAR or MAPLE CREAM.. - A table spread with the consistency of peanut butter.. Made by boiling syrup to a slightly lower temperature than that for maple candy, then cooling and stirring.. SUGARBUSH.. - The maple grove where trees are tapped and sap collected.. A sugarbush is measured not by the number of maple trees, but by the number of spouts or taps set.. Some old maples drip sap from as many as four spouts.. Young trees (at least 40 years old) only have one tap.. In either case, each tap yields about 10 gallons of sap over the whole season, which makes about one quart of syrup.. SUGARHOUSE.. - The rustic building where boiling the sap into syrup takes place.. SUGAR ON SNOW.. - A sticky, taffy-like treat made by thickening syrup on a stove and immediately pouring it on fresh snow or ice crystals.. Eat a pickle between servings!.. SUGARING TIME (Season).. - Occurs in early spring when days are 35-45 degrees and nights are below freezing.. When several of these days occur in succession, sap begins to flow.. When nighttime temperatures remain above freezing and days warm into the 50's, the trees begin to bud and the season ends.. SWEET TREES.. - Not all sugar maple trees are equal.. Some have sweeter sap than their neighbors.. It takes fewer gallons of this sweet sap to make a gallon of syrup.. Efforts to genetically predict (and reproduce) sweet trees have met with some success.. TAPPING.. - The first step in sugaring, when 7/16" diameter holes are drilled about 3" deep into maple tree trunks.. Many old trees have been tapped in this way for 75 or more years.. TUBING/ PIPELINE.. - Increasingly used in hillside sugarbushes, plastic tubing conveys the sap directly from each tree to holding tanks.. Some lines are a mile or more long and may connect 500 or more taps to a single tank.. From late February to early April, a recording about the boiling season is updated regularly..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - About Mass Maple
    Descriptive info: What we do.. Since its founding in 1947, our Association has represented most of the commercial and hobbyist sugarmaking in Massachusetts.. While we cannot conduct actual inspections, we expect our members to conform to all state and federal standards regarding the production and sale of maple products.. We disseminate information to our members which helps them to maintain strong quality control and we stand ready to assist them with specific problems as needed.. We maintain a fairly complete library of up-to-date maple research publications, and will endeavor to answer your specific questions.. We also act as your representative to both state and federal governments on specific legislative issues, that effect the maple  ...   financial assistance.. We are governed by a nine member Board of Directors elected yearly by the general membership.. Daily operations are conducted by a paid Coordinator who serves with the direction of the Board.. The Association maintains a 24 hour telephone with answering machine (The Massachusetts Maple Phone).. A call any time will be answered either by the Coordinator or by a recording supplying you with up-to-date information about sugaring in Massachusetts, which is updated regularly.. You may also leave a message and the Coordinator will return your call.. Membership.. Coordinator - Winton Pitcoff Maple Phone - (413) 628-3912.. Mass Maple Warehouse in Shelburne, MA (for inquiries about supplies) - (413) 625-2900..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - Contact Us
    Descriptive info: Coordinator - Winton Pitcoff.. Maple Phone - (413) 628-3912.. Massachusetts Maple Producers Association.. 413-628-3912..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - Board of Directors
    Descriptive info: Keith Bardwell, Secretary, Whatley,.. kbardwell@massmaple.. Cynthia Cranston, Ashfield,.. ccranston@massmaple.. Pat Delaney, Belchertown,.. pdelaney@massmaple.. Missy Leab, Hancock,.. missy@iokavalleyfarm.. com.. Ed Parker, President, Granby,.. eparker@massmaple.. Andy Schmidt, Windsor,.. windsorhill5@yahoo.. Chip Williams, Deerfield,.. cwilliams@massmaple.. Stan Zawailck, Florence,.. zawalika@comcast.. net.. Paul Zononi, Williamsburg,.. pzmaple@aol..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - Benefits of Membership
    Descriptive info: Since its founding in 1947, our Association has represented the commercial and hobbyist sugarmaking in Massachusetts.. Membership in the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association is open to all.. Our wide membership includes maple producers in Massachusetts and other states, ranging from backyard hobbyists to long time large producers.. Our membership also includes equipment manufacturers, ex-producers and just about anyone with an interest in the Massachusetts maple industry.. Annual dues are $45 for the calendar year.. Membership is free for Massachusetts residents age 18 and under who are sugaring or planning to do so, and includes a free copy of The North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual for those youth.. All memberships include a subscription to The Maple Digest and our own newsletter The Sugarbush News.. New members who join after November 1 will have their membership fee applied to the following year.. Click on the button below to join now,.. click here to download and print a membership form to mail with your payment.. , or read below to learn more about membership benefits.. Free Subscription to the international maple publication:.. The Maple Digest.. Free subscription to our Association newsletter,.. Massachusetts Sugarbush News.. Opportunity to list your sugarhouse in the.. Massachusetts Maple Producers Directory.. We print twenty-five thousand of these  ...   Sugarbush News.. Opportunity to sell some of your own bulk syrup at a premium price to the Association for use at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big-E) in September each year.. Opportunity to attend any Association sponsored workshops such as candy and cream making, tubing layout, vacuum systems, equipment cleaning, starch testing, gift basket marketing, starting your own mail order business, and other subjects of interest to the Massachusetts maple producer.. Indirect representation through the Association at many promotional events sponsored by various state agencies.. Many directories are distributed at these events, samples are given out, and the awareness of Massachusetts as a sugaring state helps preserve your maple farming climate.. Invitation to the January Annual Meeting and the July Summer Picnic.. Both of these functions offer educational programs and an opportunity to purchase equipment and supplies, as well as an opportunity to socialize with other maple producers.. When you join the Mass Maple Association for the first time, you will recieve a sample packet of Association print materials, a free laminated grading poster, a free laminated "How its made.. " poster, and a sample Mass Maple shopping bag.. All of these materials are available at our warehouse in Shelburne.. Click on this button to join now, or.. !..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - Newsletter
    Descriptive info: Mass Maple Newsletter.. Winter 2009-2010 Sugarbush News.. Summer 2010 Sugarbush News (BIG file).. Winter 2010 Sugarbush News..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - Press
    Descriptive info: Background for Press Inquiries.. The Massachusetts Maple Producers Association is a non-profit organization representing maple sugar producers in our state.. We have approximately 200 members, including most of the Commonwealth's commercial sugarhouses.. Maple syrup is not a major volume crop in Massachusetts due to the relative scarcity of sugarbushes (a stand of sugar maple trees) and the limited duration of necessary weather conditions.. Our producers vary in size from those making less than 100 gallons of syrup, to those making 2000 gaIlons or more.. Many are in the 100 to 500 gallon production range, and the state's annual production averages about 50,000 gallons, worth about three million dollars.. Most of the operating sugarhouses are in the western counties, where maple syrup is often a significant part of overall farm income.. Most Massachusetts sugarmakers retail their maple products through on-farm sales (specially during sugaring season), mail order (especially around Christmas time), and at small stores and roadside stands.. We have worked closely with the state department of Agriculture's "Massachusetts Grown and Fresher" program to reduce the need to wholesale bulk syrup out of state to big syrup packers in Vermont and New York.. More maple syrup is consumed within the state than our sugarmakers can produce, so it serves everyone's best interest to market our product within the state.. Our members now enjoy an increased retail market for their products, largely due to public demand for locally produced agricultural commodities.. The Association prints brochures, distributes standardized containers, and represents our sugarmakers at numerous public events - the most notable being our booth in the Massachusetts building at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big-E) in September.. Massachusetts ranks 8th out of the 11 major maple producing states.. Canada Produces more of the world's maple syrup than all of the United States combined, most of it being made in Quebec.. Maple states listed in the normal-year order of production are: Vermont, New York, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maine, and Connecticut.. Small amounts of maple syrup are made in the higher elevations of other mid-Atlantic states like Virginia and West Virginia.. World production totals about 4 million gallons annually, primarily all made during the months of March and April.. Making maple syrup requires freezing nights and warm (but preferably not over 50 degree) days.. These must alternate, and be in a long enough series to allow sap to move in the trees.. Prolonged periods of either below freezing temperatures or days without freezing nights will stop the sap flow.. As a result, sugarhouses often start and stop boiling at different times due to  ...   pressure reverse filter) to remove some of the water from the sap before boiling.. These machines greatly reduce time and fuel needed for boiling but they cost $5000 or more and often require major modifications to the sugarhouse (better electrical service, different sap storage setups and sometimes smaller evaporators due to the sweeter sap).. As a result, cost and maintenance factors dictate who uses the most modern "improvements.. " Basically, making maple syrup is still a very labor and fuel intensive business.. Quality control and standardized grading have improved greatly over the years, but the gathering, boiling, cleaning up, and marketing process continues in time-honored fashion.. There is no real competition for pure maple products in the marketplace.. Corn sweeteners, many of them marketed using the "maple" image, contain either less than 5% or absolutely no real maple syrup.. People who know the taste of pure maple syrup rarely are satisfied with a substitute, even when it is both cheaper and easier to find.. An increasing number of customers now ask the sugarmakers for the darker grades of syrup as opposed to the lightest grade.. Maple syrup is graded by color according to USDA standards.. Intensity of flavor (some say less "delicate" flavor) increases as the grade darkens.. The density (percent sugar) of all grades is the same.. Table syrup is graded as Light Amber, Medium Amber, and Dark Amber; with the lighter syrup having a more delicate flavor and the darker syrup having a stronger or more "mapley" flavor.. Grade B syrup is a heavy flavored syrup excellent for baking or for barbecuing.. It can have a caramel flavor which some people prefer, even for table use.. The Massachusetts Maple Producers Association will provide you or the general public with more information if needed.. We have a directory of sugarhouses open to the public, a desert recipe publication, and a couple of pamphlets describing Massachusetts sugaring.. We can be reached by telephone, mail or email.. During the season a call to the Massachusetts Maple Phone at (413) 628-3912, will provide you with updated information about the sugaring season and any special events.. You may also call at any time and leave your name and address and we will send you our free sugarhouse directory.. Public awareness of Massachusetts agriculture is growing.. As our members strive to develop local markets, the public is looking for fresh produce from their neighbors.. We hope that you can help to link these sources for their mutual benefit, Please call or write for information, seasonal timing, and interviews if you wish.. We thank you for your support..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - Maple Store
    Descriptive info: Maple Store.. All items on this page are available for purchase online.. Curriculum:.. All About Maple Sugaring.. This highly acclaimed classroom guide and curriculum for teachers and home schoolers was developed by the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association and Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom for teaching elementary school children all about maple sugaring.. Maple sugar production provides educators with a unique opportunity to explore a food production in their classroom while incorporating a wide variety of learning experiences.. The maple sugar learning activities included in this educator packet provide several subject matter experiences.. In addition to teaching materials on how maple syrup is made and maple history, the learning activities included range from simple counting, addition, subtraction, spelling, reading, writing, units of measure, to art, critical thinking, and social studies.. The teacher is encouraged to utilize these learning activities in coordination with a field trip to a Massachusetts sugarhouse or, if this is not feasible, use as a stand alone teaching process.. The learning activities are created to provide quality learning experience with little preparation time - just duplicate and distribute.. Includes poster (not laminated), coloring book, and "Make Your Own Maple Syrup" brochure.. For sale to Massachusetts school teachers for $10.. For all others, out of state and home schoolers, the cost is $20.. Location.. Massachusetts teachers $10.. 00.. Teachers outside of MA $20.. Non-teachers $20.. Poster:..  ...   visual demonstrations show how to make maple candy and maple cream both by hand and with a candy or cream machine.. Includes a 16 page instruction manual and recipes.. For the home candy maker or professional maple producer.. Book:.. The North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual.. The complete handbook for sugarbush management, and the production and marketing of all pure maple products.. Click here.. for a full table of contents.. Fully updated and revised in 2006.. Current information and recommendations relating to all aspects of the industry are presented.. The manual, which includes more than 400 diagrams, charts and photographs, covers everything you need to know about maple sugaring from tree to table.. For the beginner or the experienced producer, your answers will be found here.. Beautiful color cover, 330 pages on glossy waterproof paper, 8-page bibliography.. $35.. US $35.. Canada $40.. Mass Maple Clothing.. Our t-shirts, crew-neck sweatshirts and hooded sweatshirts are all grey with the Mass Maple logo on the chest.. Our caps are khaki with the Mass Maple logo embroidered on them.. T-shirts: $10.. Sizes.. Youth Small $10.. Youth Medium $10.. Youth Large $10.. Adult Small $10.. Adult Medium $10.. Adult Large $10.. Adult XL $10.. Adult XXL $10.. Crew-neck sweatshirts: $15.. Adult Medium $15.. Adult Large $15.. Adult XL $15.. Adult XXL $15.. Hooded sweatshirts: $23.. Adult XL $23.. Adult XXL $23.. Caps: $12..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - How Maple Syrup is Made
    Descriptive info: Pure maple syrup is made by concentrating the slightly sweet sap of the sugar maple tree.. The basics needed for making maple syrup therefore are some sugar maple trees and a method of concentrating the sap into syrup As winter comes to an end, usually in late February or early March, sugarmakers prepare for their annual harvest of the maple trees.. The group of maple trees that is used is called sugarbush, or maple orchard.. The sugarmaker prepares his sugarbush by clearing access roads in the snow, removing fallen branches, and setting up his buckets or sap tubing systems.. Whether they use tubing or buckets, sugarmakers must be sure that all their sap gathering, collecting, evaporating and bottling equipment is absolutely clean and in good condition before the beginning of the season.. There is no set time when a sugarmaker must tap his trees.. He must be aware of the clues of nature to tell him when the time is right.. The temperatures are not as extreme as earlier in the winter, the streams run with melting snow, icicles drip faster, the crows can be heard announcing the not-too-distant arrival of spring.. Mostly what the sugarmaker is waiting for is the arrival of the time of year known as "sugar weather," when the nights are below freezing and the days are mild.. This is the type of weather that makes the sap flow.. When the sugar farmer feels the time is "right" he will start to tap his trees.. Tapping involves going from tree to tree in the sugarbush, drilling holes 7/16 of an inch in diameter, about 3 inches deep, into the wood which carries the sap.. If buckets are used to collect the sap, a metal spout or "spile" is tapped snugly into the hole, and a bucket is hung from a hook on the spout.. A cover is put on the bucket to keep out rain, snow, and debris.. If a plastic tubing system is used to collect the sap, a plastic spout, which is connected to the pipeline system, is tapped into the hole in the tree.. The maple tree must be a least 10 inches in diameter and in good health before it can be tapped.. It usually takes about forty years before a tree will reach tappable size.. The hole is usually placed about waist high on the tree, and not near previous tapholes.. Larger trees may take as many as three or four taps, but only if they are healthy.. The sugarmaker has a feeling of respect for his trees and he knows he must take care of this tree which provides for him.. Trees that are in poor health or have been defoliated by insects are often tapped less, or not tapped at all.. If proper taping procedures are followed, tapping will not endanger the health and vitality of the tree.. A healthy sugar maple can provide sap every year for a hundred years or more.. Throughout the 4-6 week sugar season, each tap hole will yield approximately ten gallons of sap.. This is only a small portion of the tree's total sap production and will not hurt the tree.. The average amount of syrup that can be made from this ten gallons of sap is about one quart.. These amounts vary greatly from year to year, and depend upon the length of the season, the sweetness of the sap, and many complex conditions of nature, such as weather conditions, soil, tree genetics, and tree health.. When the trees have been tapped and all the equipment is ready, the sugarmaker is ready for the "first run," that exciting time of the year when the sap first starts to flow, sap flow requires freezing nights and warm (but not hot) days.. These must alternate and be in long enough series to allow the sap to move in the trees.. For the first time each season the sap will drip into a bucket or slowly start to flow down the tubing system towards a collection tank.. As a result, sugarhouses often start and stop boiling at different times due to local climatological factors.. The gentle geographic progression is a reverse of the fall foliage season.. That is the lower elevations and more southern regions of Massachusetts usually start their maple, seasons before the higher elevations and more northerly areas.. Prolonged warm spells  ...   tools and memories of grandfather's sugar seasons of the past.. Still others might remind you of a modern food processing plant, brightly lit and streamlined.. Each sugarhouse will have vent at the top, a cupola - which is opened to allow the steam of the boiling syrup to escape the building.. All throughout the maple producing regions, steam rising from the cupola is a signal that maple syrup season is under way.. Antique or modern, each sugarhouse will contain an evaporator used to boil down the sap into syrup.. Evaporators are made up of one or more flat pans which sit on an "arch," a type of firebox.. Wood or oil, and sometimes gas or coal is burned at the front end, and the flames are drawn along the underside of the pan, heating and boiling the sap as they travel towards the rear.. It commonly takes about one cord of wood or sixty gallons of oil to boil down 800 gallons of sap into maple syrup.. Depending on the size of the evaporator and the number of trees tapped, this may represent anywhere from two hours to two whole days of boiling.. The basic design of maple syrup evaporators has changed little over the years, although sugarmakers are always tinkering with new designs to make the process faster or more fuel efficient.. The size of the evaporator depends on the number of trees a producer has tapped.. Most are from two feet wide and six feet long up to six feet wide by twenty feet long.. Many backyard and hobby sugarmakers use smaller arrangements, or boil down their sap on the kitchen stove.. An evaporator pan is divided into partitions, so that the sap is continuously flowing through the pan.. Fresh sap enters at the back of the pan, where a float valve keeps the sap about an inch deep.. As the water is boiled off, two things happen: First, the liquid becomes sweeter, and begins to move towards the front of the pan, traveling through the partitions.. Secondly, more fresh sap is allowed into the rear of the pan.. In this way the water is constantly being evaporated away, the liquid is becoming sweeter as it moves towards the front of the pan, and the float valve in the rear is always allowing more sap to be added to keep the level about an inch deep.. It takes about forty gallons of this slightly sweet sap, boiled down, to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.. The sugarmaker concentrates his attention to the front of the evaporator where the boiling sap is turning a golden color as it approaches being maple syrup.. From time to time he will check the temperature of the boiling liquid.. When it reaches seven and a half degrees above the boiling point of water, it has reached proper density and has become maple syrup.. Another way of checking for the proper density or sugar content is to place a scoop into the boiling syrup.. If the drops along the bottom edge of the scoop begin to hold together like a sheet or apron, then the sugarmaker knows the syrup is done.. Coming from the tree, maple sap is approximately 98% water and 2% sugar.. When the syrup is finished, it is only 33% water and 67% sugar.. At this stage a valve on the front of the pan is opened and some of the finished boiling syrup is drawn off the pan and is filtered.. After filtering, the syrup is bottled and is ready for sale or ready for a fresh pile of warm pancakes.. The length of the sugaring season is totally dependent upon the weather.. It may last only a few weeks, or as long as six or eight weeks.. As the days become increasingly warmer, and the nights rarely get below freezing, the buds on the branches of the maple trees begin to swell, marking the end of the season.. Chemical changes take place within the tree as baby leaves begin to form within the buds.. At this time the sap is no longer suitable for boiling down into syrup.. Sugarmakers know it is now time to clean up all the buckets, spouts, tanks, and miles of tubing with plenty of hot water so that the equipment can be put into storage and ready for the next winter..

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  • Title: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association - Four Seasons of Maple Syrup
    Descriptive info: Four Seasons of Maple.. The Seasons of Maple in Massachusetts.. Spring.. - This is the time of the most activity when the syrup is being made and most of the harvest work is done.. Most sugarhouses in Massachusetts are open to the public during the boiling season, and many have restaurants where you can have pancake breakfasts with freshly made maple syrup.. Because sap must be boiled immediately to make the best syrup, sugarmakers are often boiling late into the night, and occasionally around the clock.. At the end of the season, everything must be absolutely clean and in good repair before it is stored for the next season.. Summer.. - In the summer, chlorophyll, the green pigment in the leaves, absorbs energy from the sun; and the roots absorb water and minerals from the soil.. In the process of photosynthesis, a simple sugar is produced, which is converted to starch, and is stored within the tree.. This is the maple tree's food and energy reserve.. It is also the basis for the sweet sap to be harvested 9 months  ...   the leaves combines with other substances, and the leaves show their spectacular red and gold colors of fall.. After the leaves drop it is a lot easier to work in the woods because visibility is greater, and the heat and insects of summer are gone.. This is the time of the year for the sugarmaker to clean up his sugarbush, repair damage by fallen or dead trees, and to cut firewood for the house or for burning in the evaporator.. Winter.. - During the winter the trees remain dormant.. The starch is stored within the tree, waiting to be converted to sugar in the spring, and to sweeten the sap that the maple producer will gather.. For many sugarmakers the Christmas holiday season is a time when they sell much of their product.. Maple syrup has become a favorite gift of residents of New England.. Massachusetts maple producers ship syrup to gift recipients all over the world.. This is also the time to think about the upcoming maple season, to make improvements in the sugarbush, and to dream about new equipment..

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