Inside the Maple Sugar Camps: Sweet Winter Harvest

Given that our county is celebrating Maple Festival this weekend and next weekend, I thought I’d republish this post about the maple sugar process. It is still as fascinating to me as it has been every year during the short window the trees can be tapped for their sweet treasure.

The Beauty Along the Road

Just when you think that winter has frayed your last nerve and spring still seems a distant dream, Mother Nature is quietly working her magic. When the nights are still freezing but the days are starting to warm a bit, the trees begin to draw up moisture from the ground. Nobody really knows when humans first discovered that tree sap was flowing during that particular time of year, then realized that this sap could be collected and boiled down into a delicious syrup. Native Americans were no strangers to tree syrup which can be produced from birch, walnut, and maple trees though maple syrup is the most popular.

Highland County, Virginia Highland County, Virginia

Canada and New England are the best known and most prolific maple syrup producers. Highland County, Virginia, due to its unique mountain climate, is the southernmost location in the US where maple syrup can still be produced.

In Highland…

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About Beauty Along the Road

My name is Annette. I am passionate about nature, health, simplicity, self-reliance, truth, and life-long learning. Originally from Germany, I now live in Virginia, USA. I am a therapist, health coach, writer, photographer, and organic gardener.
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11 Responses to Inside the Maple Sugar Camps: Sweet Winter Harvest

  1. I love maple syrup, and it’s wonderful to see its beginning….flowing out of the trees💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tina Schell says:

    My husband is from New England and we’ve seen the trees seeping their maple in several places there. There is NOTHING as delicious as fresh maple syrup IMHO! Lovely post.

    Like

  3. KaylaB says:

    Right outside my room as a little girl was a huge maple tree, it gave me shade in summer, and the illusion of fire light when the sun streamed through the leaves in the fall, and in the spring…. it gave the promise of maple syrup. We never tapped that tree, but it definitely held the magic and potential. I never had real maple syrup until a class trip took us to a tree farm, and I fell in love. Aunt Jemaime and I had a teary eyed divorce🙂. What a great post, and reminder of the life that still runs strong and true within the death shroud of winter🙂

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    • Here in the mountains, maple sugar season is definitely signalling the end of winter (even if there’s still snow on the ground when the sap is collected). And you are so right, sometimes, we have to leave certain relatives behind…🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • KaylaB says:

        I know they say it’s wrong to be jealous, but I do get that twinge when my neighbours to the south get snow, and up here in Toronto, nada🙂 When I was a kid we had a lot of snow (but times are changing the seasons so much). The tree farms would pour the syrup on real snow cones for us🙂 Thank you… for rekindling these memories for me. ENJOY!🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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