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Learning the craft of maple production

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 5:22 PM EST
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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Maine (WAGM) -

Maple season may be months away, but if you’re a first-time producer, now’s the time to begin preparing. In this week’s County Ag Report, Kathy McCarty has more on a webinar, hosted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, designed to teach you all you need to know.

Designed for beginners, the upcoming maple syrup webinar is a collaborative effort of the Cooperative Extension, the Southern Maine Maple Sugar Makers Association, and the Maine Maple Producers Association.

“Give them some background on the process of making maple syrup, and to give them some lead time so that they can plan to buy the material that they may need in order to do that during the sugar-making season,” says Jason Lilley, Sustainable Agriculture Professional, with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County.

Participants of the free December 5th webinar will learn the process, with sessions explaining each step, start to finish.

“Cover everything from how to identify trees, the process of tapping the trees, how to collect that sap and boil it down into syrup, and how to know when you’re finished making syrup, and to package that safely, and to make sure you’re getting that best quality product out of all of the time that you’re gonna put into it,” says Lilley.

While geared to beginners, more experienced producers are welcome.

Lilley says, “Really talking about an introductory level - the really base - base level of equipment and tools that you need to - to make syrup for the first time. But we’ll also have a lot of experience there, as far as our presenters. So if anybody wanted to come with more advanced questions to just learn more about the whole process, it’s really open to anyone.”

Interest in the program may be up, due to the pandemic.

“This year, we’re - we’re in the middle of a pandemic and a lot of people are home a lot more than usual. It’s a great - this is a great time to get into it and take all that free time that you’ve got with your family to go out and collect some sap and to boil it down,” says Lilley.

For more information, visit wagmtv.com. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

Registration is required; a $5 donation is optional. Register at https://extension.umaine.edu/register/product/backyard-sugaring-maple-syrup-101-webinar/. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Becky Gray, 207-781-6099; rebecca.gray@maine.edu.

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