The Sugarmaker's Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees

The Sugarmaker's Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees

by Michael Farrell


$35.96 $39.95 Save 10% Current price is $35.96, Original price is $39.95. You Save 10%.


The Sugarmaker’s Companion is the first guide of its kind addressing the small- and large-scale syrup producer seeking to make a profitable business from maple, birch, and walnut sap. This comprehensive work incorporates valuable information on ecological forest management, value-added products, and the most up-to-date techniques on sap collection and processing. It is, most importantly, a guide to an integrated sugaring operation, interconnected to the whole-farm system, woodland, and community. Farrell documents the untapped potential of American forests and shows how sugaring can turn a substantial profit for farmers while providing tremendous enjoyment and satisfaction. 

Michael Farrell, sugarmaker and director of the Uihlein Forest at Cornell University, offers information on setting up and maintaining a viable sugaring business by incorporating the wisdom of traditional sugarmaking with the value of modern technology (such as reverse-osmosis machines and vacuum tubing). He gives a balanced view of the industry while offering a realistic picture of how modern technology can be beneficial, from both an economic and an environmental perspective. Within these pages, readers will find if syrup production is right for them (and on what scale), determine how to find trees for tapping, learn the essentials of sap collection, the art and science of sugarmaking, and how to build community through syrup production. 

There are many more unique aspects to this book that set it apart from anything else on the market, including:

•    A focus on maple as a local, sustainably produced and healthy alternative to corn syrup and other highly processed and artificial sweeteners;

•    The health benefits of sap and syrup in North America and throughout the world;

•    Attention to the questions of organic certification, sugarhouse registration, and the new international grading system;

•    Enhancing diversity in the sugarbush and interplanting understory crops for value-added products (ginseng, goldenseal, and mushrooms, specifically);

•    An economic analysis of utilizing maple trees for syrup or sawtimber production and the market opportunities for taphole maple lumber;

•    The value of sap as a healthful and profitable energy drink;

•    Detailed analyses on the economics of buying and selling sap;

•    Lots of great information on marketing to create a profitable business model (based on scale, interest, and access), and more. . . .

Applicable for a wide range of climates and regions, this book is sure to change the conversation around syrup production and prove invaluable for both home-scale and commercial sugarmakers alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603583978
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date: 10/16/2013
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Michael Farrell serves as the director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Forest, a maple syrup research and extension field station in Lake Placid, NY. There he taps approximately 5,000 maples, 600 birch trees, and a couple dozen black walnut and butternut trees every year. He has authored more than fifty articles on maple syrup production and forest management and often presents to maple producer and landowner organizations. Michael earned his bachelor's in economics from Hamilton College, his master's in forestry from SUNY-ESF, and his PhD in natural resources from Cornell University. 

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

1 Why Maple Matters: The Case for Increasing Production and Consumption of Pure Maple Products 1

2 Is Sugaring for You? 15

3 Sugarhouse Design and Construction 21

4 An Untapped Resource: The Sap-Producing Trees of North America 28

5 Gathering Sap: Cost-Effective Collection Techniques to Enhance Your Operation 64

6 From Sap to Syrup: Processing Techniques That Will Save You Time, Money, Fuel, and Frustration 95

7 Registering and Certifying Your Sugaring Operation 123

8 Expanding Your Business Through Buying Sap and Leasing Taps 130

9 Community Sugaring: Growing Your Operation with Community Involvement 153

10 Where the Money Is: Marketing Your Pure Maple Products 167

11 Value-Added Products: The Path to Profitability 197

12 Tree Sap: Nature's Energy Drink 217

13 Managing Your Sugarbush for Optimum Sap Production 231

14 Other Non-Timber Forest Products from Your Land 253

15 Syrup or Sawtimber Production: Determining the Most Profitable Use for Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees 273

16 Sugaring in a Changing Climate 291

Further Resources for Sugarmakers 303

Notes 309

Index 315

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews