Wednesday, April 16, 2014
This Sunday, March 24 the public has the opportunity to see a sugarhouse in action during Maine's 30th Annual Maine Maple Sunday! Don’t know where maple comes from? This is your chance to find out.
In East Sebago, 5th generation sugar maker Ted Greene of Greene Maple Farm has been ‘sugarin’ since he could walk. This Sunday, his family (including son Alan and grandson Phillip who represent future maple farming generations) will offer visitors a traditional maple sugaring experience and a chance to purchase maple syrup, candy and fudge directly from the sugarhouse. If you go, be sure to check out Greene’s collection of taps and buckets, as well as, a century-old mechanical wood splitter. (*If you use GPS plug in “Sebago”)
Greene's Tap Collection - Greene believes the oldest tap is probably from the late 1800s. His collection of taps is predominantly from New England.
Buckets are a traditional way of collecting sap from trees. Greene Maple Farm also uses the more sustainable method of vacuum tubing. Many sugarhouses that transitioned to newer technologies, maintain buckets for show.
Maple Grades - Since January 1980, Maple syrup has been graded according to the Canadian, United States, or Vermont standards based on its density and translucency. Next year, however, consumers will begin to see a new grading system as set forth by the International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI), a promotion and marketing organization made up of U.S. and Canadian producers and processors. The change will establish an international maple syrup grading standard based on color and flavor profiles. There will be two grades. 1) Grade A with 4 classifications: Golden Color, Delicate Taste; Amber Color, Rich Taste; Dark Color, Robust Taste; Very Dark Color Strong Taste and 2) Processing Grade.
IMSI’s primary impetus for changing the grades is to alleviate consumer confusion about the difference between the grades, and have continuity for export markets.
*The Canadian provinces and all maple producing states, with the exception of Vermont (where the bill currently is camped out in the state legislature), have agreed to the new grades.Tweet
Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog, deliciousmusings.com.
When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse.
In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more.