Cold temps delay maple syrup production - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cold temps delay maple syrup production

Farmpark is known for its delicious maple syrup. (Source: WOIO) Farmpark is known for its delicious maple syrup. (Source: WOIO)
Cold temps have pushed the season at least a week behind schedule. (Source: WOIO) Cold temps have pushed the season at least a week behind schedule. (Source: WOIO)
KIRTLAND, OH (WOIO) -

The sign out front is almost completely covered with about 3 feet of snow. It should read Lake Metroparks Farmpark. The educational farm in Kirtland is as cold as it is buried in snow. 

Farmpark is well-known for its Maple Sugaring Weekends in early spring. When it comes to tapping maple trees for the sap, the season is now a week -- if not more -- behind schedule, because it's just too cold for the trees to release the liquid delight.
 
"With normal weather, what happens with the sap is during the warmer days, the sap will start crawling up the tree a little bit at a time. The cold nights, it will go back down into the roots," explains Andy McGovern, Farmpark events manager.
 
That up and down flow of sap is what allows the metal tube drilled into the side of the tree to start the flow. When tapped, maple trees should be dripping sap like a like a leaky faucet, producing a bucket full every eight to 10 hours. With weather like we've seen in February, it takes days to get one bucket of sap. Considering it takes 40 gallons of sap boiled down to to get one gallon of syrup, you better hold off on the pancakes.
 
"We'll twiddle our thumbs. Listen to Jeff on 19. I mean, it's just all about Mother Nature. That's what farming is. It's all about Mother Nature and whether or not she wants to cooperate," says McGovern.
 
Think of it as getting your blood pumping when you get hot. The sap is not pumping at all when we can't even get a single day above freezing, let alone consecutive days. 

This weekend, Farmpark begins its Maple Sugaring Weekends, where it normally gets between 2,000-3,000 visitors. This weekend, they'll be learning what happens when you have two years of arctic cold.
 
"It would be nice to produce maple sugar on Maple Sugar Weekends," McGovern says while smiling.
 
There are still several educational opportunities at the Farmpark to see this weekend. They have several new spring arrivals already, including lambs, piglets and a set of twin calves, named Zig and Zag.
 
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