Archive

 

2020 Season - Maple Syrup Preparations Underway

by Don 2/17/2020 12:39:00 PM

     Although there hasn't been communication in the preceding months, that doesn't mean the principals at Somerskogen have been idle!

     The replacement of 1/2 of the sugarbush tubing in 2019 resulted in a dramatic rise in average sap production per tap, so we decided to complete the remainding sugarbush this year. The new layout is more efficient with shorter lines to each tap, spin-seal leak free connections and larger diameter mainlines.  These changes translate into larger yields per tap, and less possibility of vacuum leaks during the season.

    The last several years we've experienced very wet weather and that has had a negative impact in portions of the sugarbush. Sugar maples prefer well drained soil, and with all the snow/rains the last few years, the soggy soil caused an acceleration of maple die back. We added drainage swales to mitigate this issue and but also chopped down a significant number of maples that died in the wet forest. 

     Research has shown early tapping in a high vacuum system such as ours, has no negative impact, so we completed 1200+ taps this past weekend.

    There remains considerable more work before the season's first sap is converted to the delectable treat that is Somerskogen Syrup, but we are developing the annual anticipation and excitement with this first post of the season!

    More to come!

Apples, Fall and Maple Syrup

by Mary 9/1/2019 2:55:00 PM

 

As the seasons change and we look forward to the apple season, consider trying this recipe from Chef Alexandra at Spoon and Stable Restaurant in Minneapolis. A very talented, creative chef, Alex created an apple and oat crisp for dessert at Spoon and Stable. This recipe was shared on their mailing list - try it and enjoy the tastes of fall. If you have a chance, book a reservation at Spoon and Stable (https://www.spoonandstable.com) and try Alex's dessert or Bellecour (https://bellecourrestaurant.com) for their decadent Pain Perdu (French term for French Toast).

   Here is Alex's recipe for her Apple Oat Crisp:

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Libby Anderson/ photographer and social media director with Soigné Hospitality.

 

Late Summer Update

by Don 9/1/2019 2:24:00 PM

 

Time has slipped away this summer and once again, it is Labor Day weekend. We've done a lot of work in the sugarbush this summer and it's time to get a post on our website.

 Following the end of season cleanup, our new evaporator is back in pristine condition.

The Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers Meeting was held in Aitkin, MN mid-May and attended by over 100 sugar makers. Presentations included proper cleaning and sanitation methods as well as latest regulatory updates. The annual "crop report" given by individual sugamakers identified consistently high sap production, deep snow for putting in taps/assessing for leaks and exhausted members who trekked through the deep snow.

 The annual syrup contest had 6 judges, blind tasting of syrup samples and eager sugar makers, hoping their syrup won and would give bragging rights for another year! Somerskogen Sugarbush did quite well with a first place finish in the Amber Rich and a second place award in the Dark Robust division. We were quite pleased!

 We will see how our maple syrup compares at the International Maple Syrup meeting in October. This year the international meeting will be held in Duluth, MN.

 Our plans for the off-season include replacing and upgrading the tubing system in the remaining portion of our sugarbush. This will allow us to maximize the vacuum system and incorporate the latest in tubing technology. All of the tubing enhancements will be done by Roth Sugarbush from Cadott, WI.