“Mother Nature is in charge,” Jan Woods (pictured above) kept repeating during a recent conversation. Days earlier she had won some notable ribbons for her maple syrup at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show, January 5 – 12. Woods operates Hurry Hill Maple Farm and Museum in Edinboro.
“It seems as if we are tapping the trees earlier and earlier every year,” she said. “Last year was a very abbreviated sap run because the weather stayed above freezing during the night hours and the buds on the trees were swelling. At the Farm Show everyone I talked with had the same story, the 2012 season ended on March 12 because of the warm temperatures.”
Laura Dengler also produces maple syrup and maple products at her sugar shack, How Sweet It Is. Like Woods, she attended the State Farm Show and was impressed with the crowds this year.
“I was just amazed this year at the number of people who attended,” she said.
While Dengler didn’t win any ribbons this year, she was instrumental in helping the local Maple Producers Association win a first place for their maple exhibit.
“This was the second year in a row, we took first place,” she said.
Like Woods, Dengler said the sap appears to be running earlier and earlier every year. This year some trees in the region were tapped the week of the State Farm Show because of the spring-like weather conditions. However, since then Mother Nature returned with a vengeance with cold and snow.
The NW PA Maple Association will also sponsor an Open House Taste and Tour weekend March 16 and 17 this year. For a list of the participating sugar shacks, www.pamaple.org. The Edinboro Historical Society in conjunction with the Taste and Tour weekend will sponsor the Edinboro Maple Festival. It will be held at the Edinboro Fire Hall.
Support local agriculture, buy local.
Great Maple Syrup Recipes:
Maple Raspberry Vinaigrette – contributed by Janet Woods, Hurry Hill Maple Farm
Hurry Hill Farm
11380 Fry Road
Edinboro, PA 16412
1/3 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup red raspberry vinegar
½ tablespoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
¼ teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Store in the refrigerator.
When ready to use, let the mixture come to room temperature. Shake
well before using.
Wonderful on fresh green salad, garden leaf lettuce or cucumbers,
grape tomatoes, and feta cheese.
Maple Thanksgiving Yams – contributed by Laura Dengler – How Sweet It Is Sugar Shack
How Sweet It Is
19868 Greenleaf Dr.
Saegertown, PA 16433
6 cups of fresh yams cooked and mashed
1 cup of maple Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together and spread in baking dish.
1/2 cup of flour
1 cup of maple sugar
1 cup of pecans (optional)
1/2 stick of butter
Mix together and sprinkle on top of layer 1
Bake @ 350 for 35 minutes.
Links to other rural news: