Date(s) - June 22, 2022 - June 24, 2022
If you’re new or new-ish to making maple syrup, there’s a lot you can learn at Maple Bootcamp: Ohio.
Participants will get details on how to assess a sugarbush and all the steps that follow, from collecting sap to boiling, bottling, and selling. Classroom sessions will take place on the Ohio State Mansfield campus. Field trips and tours will visit local maple operations, including one located right on the campus.
What trees to tap
While sugar maple is considered ‘the’ tree to tap for syrup, there are also other maples that can be tapped. These include black maple, red maple, silver maple, and a hybrid found in Ohio, a red maple-silver maple cross.
The bootcamp will teach how to identify the different maple species and will cover the differences between them when it comes to making syrup.
How to install a tap
Most producers today use 20-volt cordless drills to drill their taps, and the size of the bit and the depth of the hole both are critical. The bootcamp will cover them both.
How many taps to have
Producers have a rule of thumb for how many taps a tree should have. It’s based on the tree’s diameter when measured 4.5 feet off the ground. A bootcamp session will explain the rule and how and why to use it.
How and when sap flows
Temperatures dictate sap flow. Nights in the 20s and days in the 40s are key. When the thermometer goes above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, pressure in the tree makes the sap flow.
But if temps stay below 32, the likelihood of having the right pressure—enough to make the sap flow—is slim.
Understanding sap flow and the role of temperature is set to be covered at the bootcamp.
How to collect sap
Buckets, bags, and tubing are options when it comes to collecting sap. Having the sap go into a storage tank, or directly into the evaporator, also are choices to make. The bootcamp will help participants determine which methods are best for their own operation.
How to store and filter sap
Are you selling your syrup? Or is it only for home consumption? The bootcamp will look at the pros, cons, and differences among the options.
How to make value-added products
Maple syrup can be used for making a range of value-added products. A bootcamp session will explore the possibilities—from maple cream to maple candy to granulated maple sugar—and what it takes to produce them.
How to market what you make
Just for friends and family? Sold from the farm or at a farmers market or by arrangement in a local store? A bootcamp session will look at the options and what’s needed to carry them out.
Details and registration
The complete list of sessions and other details can be found in the event flyer.
Registration for Maple Bootcamp: Ohio is $150. Participants can register using the form in the flier, or online at woodlandstewards.osu.edu. Registering ahead of time is required. The deadline to register is June 14.
Along with Ohio State, CFAES, and SENR, the co-hosts of the bootcamp include Penn State Extension and West Virginia’s Future Generations University.
The event is being funded by a grant to SENR, Penn State, and FGU from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acer Access and Development Program. The grant aims to promote maple syrup production in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia through education and research.