You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

Joseph and Pharaoh would approve  The Canadian province of Quebec produces nearly three-fourths of the world’s supply of maple syrup – and is home to the world’s only “strategic maple syrup reserves”. When there’s a poor harvest year, the stored syrup is made available for purchase.

You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.

Trees are amazing! They provide beauty and lovely shade. They provide cooler air on a hot summer day, and a lovely home for a lot of animals and birds. Through photosynthesis they take in carbon dioxide (what we breathe out) and throw out oxygen (what we breathe).  This means trees can refresh our air supply! They can be fun to climb, too! And there are so many different kinds!

One kind of tree that is very special is called the sugar maple. Something very wonderful and yummy comes from the sugar maple – sap! When the conditions are just right, we can collect and boil down this sap to make maple syrup!! Yum! I can taste the syrup on my pancakes already!!

So, how does this all work? Well, when the outside temperature reaches about 40 degrees F, this is perfect for the sap to flow. An enzyme in the tree that converts starches into sugars is only active at this temperature. Once changed over, the sugars then pass into the sap. The rising temperatures cause pressure inside the trees to build which in turn causes the sap to flow. But it must stay in temperature range because anything 45 degrees and higher can cause flow to slow and stop.

There is a special way to collect the sap. A hole is carefully drilled into the tree and a tube is placed in the hole which is attached to a bucket or container to collect the sap. This is called tapping the trees. One tap hole can produce anywhere from five to fifteen gallons of sap. The trees are treated carefully so as not to damage them. This way they can harvest the sap year after year.

Did you know that it takes 10 gallons of sap to make just one quart of syrup?!! This is done by boiling the sap down. Some people have special little cook shacks just for this purpose. The cook fire needs to go for many hours, and so it puts out a lot of heat. Also, it can get so humid from the evaporating moisture that the walls can get wet. That’s why it’s best to boil it outdoors or in a cook shack.

After the sap is boiled for many hours to get the extra water out, and to get just the right thickness, it is filtered and put into bottles and sealed. Or, it can be boiled down even further to make maple sugar. Have you ever had maple sugar cubes? I’ve seen some in the shape of maple leaves. Very tasty!

Quebec, Canada takes their syrup production very seriously. They carefully make and store as much as possible every year. This way, when the harvest is not so good some years, they can sell what they have stored so there is enough to meet the demand. In any case, I am thankful for the good, talented people who patiently make all the maple syrup for us to enjoy!

A bottle of maple syrup in a maple-leaf shaped bottle with New England fall foliage in background.

This reminds me of, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” Ps. 34:8 NKJV

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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