Farming Magazine - May, 2008

SUGARING

N.Y. Maple: Photos, Food and More

The New York State Maple Producers Association is looking for members to share their photography talents, and help promote the industry at the same time.

A contest has been launched to gather photographs for the association’s Web site and advertising efforts, primarily for the 2009 Maple Weekend.

The winning photographer will be awarded free participation in the 2009 Maple Weekend.

As you get ready for the upcoming season, and throughout the season, keep your cameras ready, take pictures—and take lots of them. You never know when that winning photo opportunity will present itself. Some ideas: kids working in the woods around the sugar house and sampling the good stuff; animals hauling sap; visitors enjoying themselves; and workers putting up tubing, gathering sap or boiling syrup. 

You must be a member of the NYSMPA to qualify. Download a photo entry form from the association’s Web site. All entries must be in color. Both digital files and 35mm prints will be accepted. The entry deadline is May 1.

NYSMPA will have all rights to photos entered and may use any of them in its publications or on the Web site. Photographers will be given credit for their work if requested with the submission.

Visit the New York State Maple Producers Association Web site at www.nysmaple.com.

Confections Notebook available

The New York State Maple Producers Association office has copies of the “New York State Maple Confections Notebook, Making Quality Maple Confections & Value-Added Workshops” on sale at a reduced price of $20.

The 215-page guide leads a reader through topics such as the chemistry of maple syrup, crystallization, making maple cream, pricing confections, equipment information and regulations. Charts, graphics and photographs are used throughout to illustrate the subjects discussed.

The Confections Notebook was prepared by the Cornell Maple Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education and the New York State Farm Viability Institute.

To purchase a copy, contact Pam Bianco-Dennis at 607-535-9790 or pbianco@gwriters.com.

Maple recipes to be included in new cookbook

Recipes featuring maple syrup are expected to be included in a cookbook being created by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.

The foundation is headquartered at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua in Ontario County. Chefs at the Culinary Center will be participating in the project.

The New York State Maple Producers Association was contacted for its help in selecting recipes that use maple syrup as a main ingredient.

The cookbook, to be called “Taste of New York,” puts New York foods in the spotlight. It will encourage the consumer to buy and cook with New York products and to “appreciate the riches found right here in New York’s fields, forests, streams and seashores,” according to the foundation.

The cookbook will be sold at the New York Wine & Culinary Center and elsewhere, with proceeds helping to support programs promoting New York products at the Center.

Would you tap public trees?

The trees on the more than 300,000 acres owned by New York State could be a great resource for the maple industry, and the New York State Maple Producers Association wants to know if you’re interested in taking your taps there. As demand grows for pure NYS maple products, producers are looking for new sources of sap.

Dave Forness, principal forester with the Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany, says DEC does have the authority to enter into forest product sale contracts for tapping under a law that has been in place for years. Even though some limited taping with buckets has been allowed over the years, DEC staffing constraints, as well as some other issues, have prevented the DEC from entering into leases for sap production.

The New York State Maple Producers Association would like to how many producers would be interested in tapping trees on public lands, as permitted. Interest will determine if this is an issue that should be pursued. The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets and NYS Farm Bureau have expressed their willingness to support the Association in its efforts to explore options for access to this new resource.

In Vermont, the U.S. Forest Service permits tapping maple trees in some sections of the federally owned Green Mountain National Forest. Five producers have obtained and are operating tapping permits there presently. The Forest Service has shared its tapping guidelines with the association, and if the NYS DEC permitting option is pursued, these guidelines will be used as a starting point for a rule-making discussion with the state agency, NYSMPA Executive Director Mary Jeanne Packer said.

If you are interested in this issue, contact Packer at mjpacker@nysmaple.com.