Here’s a great story from the Courtland Journal this week about a couple of entrepreneurs utilizing a natural resource. Makes you wonder what other creative ways we can create local added-value products here in Republic County?!?
Maple Syrup production in Republic County? Are you kidding? Well, Jim Elliott, Ryan and Brandon Schraeder aren’t kidding. They are a few weeks away from starting their third season of maple syrup production.
Two years ago they tapped 97 gallons of sap from local maple trees, and last year, tapped 400 gallons of sap which, when cooked down, made about 8 gallons of syrup (tree sap is about 98% water). The three Sapheads have about one hundred trees they’ve tapped on a route from Norway to Scandia to Courtland and Back to the Marsh (Jamestown Wildlife Area).
The sapflow usually begins in February, when the night time temperatures are below freezing and the days are above freezing and lasts for 3-4 weeks. Jim has a cooker in which the sap is cooked down to syrup, which last year was sold by Schraeder’s at local farmer’s markets as well as the Depot Market.
This year they hope to process 600 gallons of sap, but they need more trees, if you have a maple tree and would like to help with this project, call Jim at 620-245-7774. Any maple tree will work. Tapping, which involves drilling a 7/16 hole in the tree, does not harm the tree. There are trees in production areas which have been tapped for a hundred years and show no ill effects.
Give these guys a call so you can be part of something big in Republic County.