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Learn how to make maple syrup

Late winter and early spring is maple season. This is the time to tap trees, collect sap and boil it down into syrup. This tradition has been going on long before the first Europeans arrived in America when they learned from Native Americans how ...

Late winter and early spring is maple season. This is the time to tap trees, collect sap and boil it down into syrup. This tradition has been going on long before the first Europeans arrived in America when they learned from Native Americans how to make maple syrup and manage maple groves.

Then, as now, maple syrup is an important spring ritual for Native Americans and families in the northeastern parts of the U.S. and Canada.

On Saturday, March 1, at Trailview School in Mora, Carl Vogt with the University of Minnesota Extension Service will present a workshop on how to make maple syrup. Vogt is well known around Minnesota for his work with maple syruping and Christmas trees.

The program will have something for both the beginner and the experienced producer. Anyone with a couple of trees, a plastic milk jug, a few other inexpensive items such as a tap, and the time to boil down the sap can make and enjoy maple syrup.

Also, learn about recent equipment innovations and technologies used in the industry today. While sugar maples are the preferred tree, sap from silver maples, red maples and box elders can be used.

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There will be ample time for questions and discussion, and written materials will be available to participants. As an added treat, learn how to make maple candy. Tasting is required.

Did you know that maple syrup is more nutritional than most other sweeteners? Maple syrup contains zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and other minerals, as well as trace vitamins. So while you pour it on your pancakes, you know it is good for you.

The maple syrup workshop will be part of the "Guide to Rural Living Expo." Among other workshops available are: Landscaping for Wildlife, Native Plants, Managing Your Woodlot, and Horse Pastures. In all, 16 different workshops will be offered.

For more information, contact Onanegozie Resource Conservation and Development at 320-679-4604 or e-mail dana.raines@mn.usda.gov .

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