Saturday, April 05, 2008

Maple Season

New England gets most of the media coverage for maple syrup and that is indeed a marketing triumph on their part. Needless to say, WV, MD and PA are also loaded with maple trees. To me this really is what really begins the actual farming season. The link to the article is a good summary. There are plenty of maple festivals around our area but that is mostly a sales outlet for the finished product or for churches and other fund raisers to serve pancake breakfasts and the like. What I prefer, and would recommend that you go see, is the actual production, from the tree to the maple shack and then to the bottle. There is something about the process that is quite peaceful and appealing. Mostly the fact that the process can not be rushed so I guess it primarily teaches patience. It might also be the tradition of it, or the quiet nature of the work, or maybe its just the sweet smelling steam. The season typically starts with snow still on the ground and when its still quite cloudy and dark. It takes a special dedication to be out in the woods in this cold damp climate. But for those that do it, it is part of their nature and they simple go about doing what needs to be done. Planting anything is still a month or two away. So go visit a maple camp, and see this process first hand for yourself if you can. Its a very special tradition.