Table of Contents
We’re keeping it short + sweet today without getting too sappy as we tap into Wisconsin’s maple syrup industry.
Maple syrup by the number
- The Badger State ranks fourth in maple syrup production behind Vermont, New York, and Maine + was one of the state’s earliest agricultural products.
- The syrup that we all know + love wasn’t popularized until the mass importing of sugar cane in the 1860s took over as a dominant sweetener, requiring producers to reinvent the sap for consumer usage.
- The 300,000 Wisconsin-produced gallons of syrup were estimated at a worth of over $9 million.
- Sap fresh from the tree is approximately 97% water and 3% sugar, which results in syrup after the sap is boiled down.
- The third month of the year is when harvesting happens. Temperatures need to be below freezing at night and above during the day. Last year’s harvest began on February 20 and ended on March 31.
- Grading of syrups doesn’t have to do with quality, but rather coloring + flavor, which depends on the time they’re produced during the season. The lighter the syrup, the colder the temperature.
- It generally takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.
- $470,387. That’s how much the UW-Madison Division of Extensions received last year to expand maple sugaring outreach. The program hopes to grow sustainable land management around production.
- Sugar maple has been the official state tree since 1892 after a statewide vote by school children.
See the sap yourself
- Friends of Mackenzie Maple Fest, Q, W7303 County Hwy. CS, Poynette | Sat., April 2 | Join the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources to learn about past + present maple sugaring practices.
- Open Kettle Farms, 5260 Otto Kerl Rd., Cross Plains | Sat., March 19-Sun., March 20 | See how maple syrup is made + enjoy treats at the family-operated organic farm.
- Sap Run Scramble, 1201 N. Main St., Viroqua | Sat., March 19 | A 5K through B&E’s Trees Maple Farm followed by maple samples.
- Sugarin’ Off Pancake Breakfast, 3600 N. Green Bay Rd., Racine | Sun., March 20 + Sun., March 27 | A springtime tradition filled with breakfast + a hike to maple trees.
- Maple Sugar Days, 9701 W. College Ave., Franklin | Sat., March 19-Sun., March 20 | A walk to the sugarbush + stories about the origins of maple syrup in Wisconsin.