There's nothing quite like waking up on a Saturday morning to the smell of some French toast or pancakes sizzling on the stove, waiting to be doused with a dash of butter, powered sugar or a splash or two of maple syrup. While this mild winter may be warming the hearts of many Western New Yorkers (unless you're a fan of the slopes), the warmer winter certainly has maple syrup producers smiling as they're able to get a head start on production.
With warmer-than-average temperatures (mid-30s into the 40s) expected through the next ten days and into April, some producers are in a bit of a rush to tap their trees and run the required tubing to take full advantage of the prime, if atypical, early sugaring conditions.
Sap flow from sugar maples is directly related to temperature - a rise in temperature of the sapwood to above 32 degrees causes a positive pressure that produces sap flow, which is augmented when warmer days follow colder nights. Unseasonable warm temperatures sometimes signify a short sap-collecting season. So some sap producers are hurrying to collect their sap yields fearing the season could be a short one.
Last year brought the second-largest syrup crop on record in the U.S and producers are hoping 2017 rivals it.
Did you know that maple syrup tastes different in each state? Because it's a natural product that comes from a tree, different types of soil impact the taste, just like different soil types have an effect on the taste of a product like wine. So, different geographic areas can have slightly different flavors. Naturally, Western New York has a very different soil type than that of Maine, Vermont or other higher-yield syrup-producing states.
2017 is shaping up to be a nice year for our syrup-producing friends, so next time your family wakes up on the weekend to enjoy a stack of pancakes together, take a moment to appreciate where that syrup comes from. As winter winds down we're hoping everyone in our network of Christian schools in Buffalo and the best private elementary schools in Buffalo, NY is ready to continue a great start of the year together into spring.