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Maple Syrup In Medora: Spring Is Here, Maple’s On The Run

Many have a tough time throwing down the extra cash for real maple syrup, but one visit to a maple camp and a cook-down will spoil you for life.

sap flows from a tap in a maple tree

Photo: Daniel Orr

Medora's Tim Burton produces maple syrup and spring is the season when sap flows.

I don’t know about you, but when I stand at the supermarket aisle and look at the Maple Flavored corn syrup versus the “real deal,” I have a tough time throwing down the extra cash for the good stuff. But one visit to a maple camp and a cook-down will spoil you for life.

Today, I let the pros give us the lowdown on everything from tapping to production to telling how to make the grade. I’ll prove to you that the sweet taste of real syrup and butter is worth the extra cash.

Mother Nature At Maplewood

Burton’s Maplewood Farms sits on 28 acres in Medora, Indiana. Every year in March, they host the National Maple Syrup Festival, proving that maple syrup isn’t just for Vermont. I sat down to speak with two of the Burtons, Tim, the owner; and his daughter-in-law, Sabrina.

When starting the syrup process, the first thing the Burtons look at is the diameter of the tree. They don’t utilize any tree that is less than 14 inches in diameter. A tree that has a full canopy without any scaring will be more likely to provide better sap.

From Tree To Table

In Indiana, tapping season lasts from late January and goes into mid March. To get the most sap as possible, the Burtons tap the trees when the days are getting up in the forty degree range, but the nights are still cooler.

Cooler temperatures cause the trees to expand and contract, which is what causes the sap to move down the tree. Each tap gives about ten gallons a year.

A tree with three taps will produce thirty gallons a year. According to Tim Burton: “That’s one reason why pure, natural syrup is so expensive. It’s such a long process to get from the sap to the table.”

WATCH: WTIU’s Whitney King reports from the sugar bush.

Medora’s Tim Burton produces maple syrup and spring is the season when sap flows.

Chef Daniel Orr

Chef Daniel Orr is the owner of FARMbloomington and the author of several cookbooks. He draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food’s true essence and flavor. The result is simple, yet sophisticated; the best of American food tempered by classic European training.

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