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“Make Your Own” Maple Syrup
Ever thought about tapping a couple maple trees in your yard, but didn’t know how? You might want to check out www.tapmytrees.com. Joe McHale, owner of the website, makes it easy to get started with simple online tutorials, a book, and a do-it-yourself kit.
  “I liken it to the beer brewing kits. This will get you started. If you like it, you can grow and add to it,” McHale explains.
  The website is the culmination of his own experience starting eight years ago – learning about gathering sap and boiling it down to make maple syrup with his children.
  “When I did it and told others, they wanted to do it,” he says. “It’s a fun thing to get people out of the house in late winter.”
  McHale’s first tip is to start small with just 3 trees, which is enough to produce about a gallon of syrup from 40 gal. of sap.
  “My second piece of advice is to plan to boil the sap outside,” he says.
  There is lots of information at the website in 4 tutorials and McHale also wrote a book that is included with the starter kits he sells. The buckets, stainless steel taps, and other items start at $87. To encourage teachers to tap trees, McHale offers a less expensive kit for $75.
  “I’m really trying to get the home schooling community involved. So many lessons apply - science, math, history of Native Americans gathering sap, cooking. It’s the perfect thing for homeschooling,” he says.
  McHale has only made maple syrup in the Connecticut area, but the kits and lessons apply to gathering birch and walnut sap as well.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Joe McHale, Tap My Trees LLC, 268 Simpaug Turnpike, Suite 125, Redding, Conn. 06896 (ph 888 990-9948; www.tapmytrees.com; info@tapmytrees.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1