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Kurt Upham and His Maple Syrup Making. It Ties Him to Nature, and To The Practice That the First People of This Land Started Centuries Back

 

Kurt Upham’s 2019 Maple Syrup Batch, Packaged and Ready for Consumption

ohDEER is the leader in all-natural deer, mosquito, and tick control.

We were founded in 2007.  Through our corporate office in Wayland, MA, and our rapidly expanding franchise network, we provide coverage throughout Massachusetts, including Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket; all of Rhode Island; the eastern part of Long Island (NY); and central New Jersey.

Of course, a primary reason that ohDEER is in business, and is doing well, is because people are concerned about being exposed to harmful chemicals and toxins.

They also are interested in helping to keep nature healthy.

We at ohDEER are nature lovers, conservationists, and outdoorspeople.  We enjoy spending time in … interacting with … the natural environment.

In that interest, in part, a hobby that ohDEER co-founder Kurt Upham took up four years ago was maple-syrup making.

Please click here to be taken a post on this blog about Kurt’s maple-syrup-making adventure in 2018.

ohDEER territory is maple-syrup-making territory.

The world’s top maple syrup producing region is one that encompasses the U.S. Northeast and Quebec province in Canada.

And in this region, maple syrup season, also called maple sugaring season, has just ended.

The season runs from the later part of February through the end of March, and that is because this is the stretch of the calendar is that in which the right conditions of sap flow happen: nights of temperatures in the 20s °F, and days of temperatures in the 40s °F.

Sap is the sugar water that is boiled down to make maple syrup and maple sugar.

“It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup,” said Kurt.  “This year I made and bottled a gallon of syrup.”

Kurt added:  “It’s a lot of work.  And it is a joy to harvest this delicious food, and to share it with family and friends.”

Making maple syrup has become an Upham family event.  Kurt and his wife and ohDEER co-founder and co-owner Colleen’s daughters help gather sap.

Kurt is fairly high tech and dedicated in his maple syrup pastime.

He uses a “did-it-himself” piece of equipment to boil the sap down to syrup.

“What I use for a heat source is a stove I made out of a 50–gallon barrel in which I burn wood,” said Kurt. “I set on the barrel a commercially-made, what is called in the maple-syrup-making avocation and vocation, evaporator: a device in to which the sap is fed and brought to a boil.  My stove and evaporator boil about six to 10 gallons of sap an hour down to a substance that is almost syrup.”

Kurt’s Station for Maple Sap Boiling

After the almost-syrup is created in the evaporator, Kurt filters and transfers the sweet fluid to an old coffee maker in which the substance is heated to 180 degrees °F.

“It is the second heating that results in maple syrup.”

Kurt then filters the syrup three more times, with the final transfer one in which the syrup runs through a felt filter.

The syrup is packaged in oxygen barrier bottles that are placed on their side and allowed to cool.

“Maple is a wonderful flavor, and pure maple syrup is the best form of that flavor.”

In that we are in the infancy of spring 2019, with rebirth and beginnings and starting anew beneath and above and all around us, ohDEER is recommending an interesting article about how maple syrup making started.

Kurt’s Felt Filter Used in the Maple Syrup Purification Process

Please click here to be taken to a story, “Some History of Maple Production,” at Vermont Maple Syrup.

The story is one that includes facts and myth and folklore.

We learn from the article, no surprise, that the First People of this land were making maple syrup before Europeans arrived here.

Following is an excerpt from the story:

“For centuries Indians have tapped maples, gashed the bark under the tap in a V-shape and put out large birchbark bowls under the tap for collection. Earlier Indians would pour the sap into a hollowed out log or birchbark or clay kettle and drop hot rocks into the cooking vat until most of the water was boiled away. You can only imagine the dark color and the strong flavor syrup produced in this manner would possess. Later Indians would pour the sap into a clay or iron kettle held over a campfire, this lead to a better product where the maple flavor was more pronounced.”

The First People also made maple sugar, which is created, as it is today, by continuing to boiling the liquid out of syrup until a solid remains.

For sure, maple syrup, the making of maple syrup, is … in its essence … a practice of being in tune with the land and nature … and working with the land and nature.

Kurt Upham fully understands this truth.

“When you make your own maple syrup – and this is the case when you grow and create and harvest any food – you develop a heightened respect and appreciation for that food, and for the environment.”