The Sugarmaker’s Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees
I received an early release copy of this book a few months back. It was a welcome surprise, as one of my favorite activities in agriculture is making sugar. For many years I made maple syrup and sold it retail for extra spending money. It is one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done and I have many fond memories of time spent in the woods and in the sap house. Sugar production is often an untapped economic resource on many rural land holdings and could be an important boost to the rural economy.
This book is an excellent introduction to small and medium sized commercial sugar production. If you are only planning to tap a few trees in the backyard, the book still has useful information for you but the general theme is geared more toward building a larger operation. There is plenty of practical information regarding equipment, sugar bush management, marketing and a welcome section on non timber forest products that can be grown and harvested from your woodlot. Farrell also covers birch and black walnut syurp production, which is not something normally found in most sugaring books. I appreciate the author’s passion for making the art of sugar production a profitable endeavor that can help heal the rural economy. All said, this is a valuable book for anyone who is interested in making sugar part of their farm plan. It will also be a great resource for people who are interested in making the forested area’s of the farmstead more profitable.