The Sweetness of Spring
It’s maple syrup season in Northeast Ohio. The maple trees are tapped and the sap has been rising since early February. The buckets, bags and plastic tubes carry 50 gallons of sap for every 1 gallon of syrup that will produced from an oil fueled evaporator at the sugar house. In Burton Ohio, at the town square, volunteers staff the sugar house.The amber liquid drains from the spout of the evaporator into a pail and it will be strained and filtered. At the temperature of 219 degrees it is hot enough to seal inside the jugs that hold it for sale. The steam inside the process room smells deliciously sweet. This sugar house is also a museum and retail store. The town and municipal properties as well as local people contribute sap from their maple trees. In 2006 the state of Ohio produced 78,000 gallons of syrup. Vermont and New York are also big syrup producing states. Not all syrup has the same taste. The minerals in the local soils and the weather can effect it’s flavor.
This is a month filled with Sunday pancake breakfasts and Friday fish fries.The bulbs are inching up in our gardens and we anticipate the arrival of the sweet scent of Spring and the celebration of Easter. The garden outside, though very wet from recent rains, lures the plans from my imagination and the poking of my curious fingers When will it be safe to put those first seeds in the soil?