It is generally agreed that Minnesota’s maples are an “untapped” resource. Check out the maple syrup fact sheet reproduced from the Minnesota Harvester Handbook. This fact sheet includes information on how to harvest maple sap, the tools needed, and how to store, prepare, and process the sap.
Home producers of small quantities of maple syrup can maintain the quality of the sap by keeping it cold. Using a tubing system and containers banked in snow keeps the sap cold. If you are tapping a small number of trees and can’t boil frequently, consider freezing the sap until you are ready to boil. The sap won’t ferment or sour when it is frozen. You will need a chest or upright freezer and space to freeze 10 to 15 gallons of sap.
The Minnesota Harvester Handbook addresses sustainable natural resource harvest and markets. This resource – developed by the University of Minnesota Extension and many contributors – demonstrates the breadth and diversity of natural resources found in and around the state’s woodlands. For more non-timber forest products to harvest this spring, purchase a copy of the Minnesota Harvester Handbook.
Keep posted to MyMinnesotaWoods for a monthly fact sheet on non-timber forest products.