The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Rowe gives instruction on making maple syrup


February 25, 2019


SAXON, Wis. — Residents interested in learning more about maple syrup had a chance to learn more about the process of tapping maple trees and making syrup at a pair of classes this weekend.

In the morning, a group gathered in the town of Saxon to hear from Andy Rowe, of Many Maples Sugar Bush.

Rowe talked about the process for tapping sugar maples and showed the group the various tools needed to collect sap from the trees. He also demonstrated how to tap a tree.

While drilling the hole to put the tap in, Rowe told those in attendance that it was important to avoid revving the drill or stopping it prior to pulling the bit out of the tree.

He explained this is to keep the hole as clean as possible to prevent micro-tears around the edges that sap can leak through.

He also emphasized trying to keep the equipment clean, saying that some major producers only use taps one time before throwing them away.

“You want to keep everything as clean as you can,” Rowe said.

As importance keeping things clean is, Rowe said detergent should be avoided at all cost as it leaves a residue that transfers to the syrup and ruins it.

In the afternoon, a second class was held in Mercer for those in the southern part of the county.

Darrin Kimbler, the agriculture educator with Iron County’s UW-Extension office and one of the organizers of the classes, was pleased with both classes.

A little over 40 people attended the two classes, according to Kimbler.

Attendees included everyone from those who wanted to start tapping syrup for the first time to people who looking for tips to improve their systems or who were considering starting commercial operations.

“I thought both classes were excellent,” Kimbler said.

Anyone with questions about maple syrup production can contact Kimbler at 715-561-2695.


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