Reports out of Wisconsin, Massachusetts and other northern states are saying that next year’s maple syrup crop has been been hurt by the abnormally warm winter. As this Washington Post story reveals, the big farms with machine vacuum systems are fine, but the smaller shops that depend on the traditional tap and bucket-drip method are hurting. You see, maple trees generate sweet sap when cool days the flow begins. Once tree buds start sprouting, the hormones produced in the trees spoil the sap’s taste, so collection has to stop.
We live in a town called Maplewood, and while we don’t make maple syrup here, we sure do eat a lot of it! Last week the temperatures here were close to 80, and all of our trees have buds. It’ll be a sad winter if the price of maple syrups breaks our waffle breakfast routine. Not to mention our new obsession with Brooklyn Brewery’s Mary’s Maple Porter. Needless to say, we’re stocking up on the sweet stuff. Will you?