An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees
Author: Michael Farrell
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Category: House & Home
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.
An Integrated Permaculture Approach to Growing Food and Medicinals in Temperate Forests
Author: Ken Mudge
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Learn how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other nontimber products. The practices of forestry and farming are often seen as mutually exclusive, because in the modern world, agriculture involves open fields, straight rows, and machinery to grow crops, while forests are reserved primarily for timber and firewood harvesting. In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be an either-or scenario, but a complementary one; forest farms can be most productive in places where the plow is not: on steep slopes and in shallow soils. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers. Many of the daily indulgences we take for granted, such as coffee, chocolate, and many tropical fruits, all originate in forest ecosystems. But few know that such abundance is also available in the cool temperate forests of North America. Farming the Woods covers in detail how to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value nontimber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, ornamentals, and more. Along with profiles of forest farmers from around the country, readers are also provided comprehensive information on: • historical perspectives of forest farming; • mimicking the forest in a changing climate; • cultivation of medicinal crops; • cultivation of food crops; • creating a forest nursery; • harvesting and utilizing wood products; • the role of animals in the forest farm; and, • how to design your forest farm and manage it once it’s established. Farming the Woods is an essential book for farmers and gardeners who have access to an established woodland, are looking for productive ways to manage it, and are interested in incorporating aspects of agroforestry, permaculture, forest gardening, and sustainable woodlot management into the concept of a whole-farm organism.
In Meanings of Maple, Michael A. Lange provides a cultural analysis of maple syrup making, known in Vermont as sugaring, to illustrate how maple syrup as both process and product is an aspect of cultural identity. Readers will go deep into a Vermont sugar bush and its web of plastic tubes, mainline valves, and collection tanks. They will visit sugarhouses crammed with gas evaporators and reverse-osmosis machines. And they will witness encounters between sugar makers and the tourists eager to invest Vermont with mythological fantasies of rural simplicity. So much more than a commodity study, Meanings of Maple frames a new approach for evaluating the broader implications of iconic foodways, and it will animate conversations in food studies for years to come.