The first harvest of 2009 has begun here in the north country. It’s maple, coming in drop by drop.
Much of the snow has melted, but the landscape remains brown and rumpled, showing no signs of life, no traces of green. Still, the days are longer. The sun is brighter. And the maples respond.
The harvest is pure and clear, sparkling in the sun like water, but this special liquid is so much more. At the sugar-maker’s hand, it is transformed into amber syrup, the first taste of spring.
But this golden result does not come easy. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. So the sugar-maker must be dedicated, willing to work hard when Mother Nature decides she is ready to provide. But the effort pays off, and though winter lingers, the harvest has begun.
Sugaring in Vermont
A look at how maple syrup is made in Vermont’s Champlain Valley, with Rick Renaud, a Gardener’s Supply employee, who spends many hours in spring sugaring with friends and family. To see the captions, click on the photo..