Winter is notoriously long in the state of Minnesota.  Yes, we get all season and extreme temperatures on both ends of the thermometer, but there are some things that are good about a long and drawn out winter.

Maple Syrup.

If you have taken on this growing in popularity task of tapping maple trees to make natural maple syrup, you are not alone.  And this year you will probably have great success in this activity.

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Some people around the area have a smaller operation with just a couple of trees. While others have made quite an operation out of the activity.  Tapping several trees and collecting gallons of sap to make syrup.  I am amazed at the amount of sap that collected and how much syrup comes out of that collection.  It's not as much as I would have thought, but it's still quite a bit.

This winter has played a part in the syrup making operation.

According to DNR's maple syrup expert Ryan Brubaker, the lower, freezing temps overnight causes 'negative pressure' or 'sucking pressure' from the trees, allowing the trees to bring in water through its roots. Then the warm temperatures following it, creates 'positive pressure,' which drives out the sap through a tapped hole.

I have seen people all around the state making syrup with some just doing it here and there and others making it their "job".  If you are retired, this seems like a great activity.  Lots of time to collect, process and produce the syrup.  Sense of satisfaction.  If you would like to take advantage of this year's crop of natural syrup, hit up some farmers markets and local orchards.

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