Making maple syrup
Bob and Carmen Maschler of Randall have made maple syrup for 47 years. It began when they purchased 120 acres of wooded land and noticed a lot of maple on the property. Bob’s grandfather dabbled a bit in making maple syrup when he was younger. He was the inspiration for Bob to begin making maple syrup on the new land.
The first year was experimental, just producing a gallon of syrup. During the first years, the couple tapped 25 to 30 trees and added more taps as the years went by. They purchased a commercial evaporator and have 200 taps on about 20 acres of woods, The Maschlers use the Sap Sack system for collecting the sap and make about 50-60 gallons of pure maple syrup in a good year. They call themselves “hobby” syrup producers. Most trees have one tap.Once a tree is 18 inches in diameter it can have two taps. Once the sap is collected, it’s boiled. The heating process changes the color of the sap, which is clear, to the amber color, giving it the maple flavor without any additional ingredients. According to Bob Maschler, “This year’s sap is running very rich yielding one gallon of syrup for 30 gallons of sap.”
The Maschlers have won several awards for their syrup at the Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers Association, also winning first place at the Minnesota State Fair and several first and second place awards in Wisconsin.
The couple is very active in the state association — Carmen was secretary and treasurer for 12 years and Bob has been on the board of directors for 18. They also helped with the planning for the North American Maple Syrup Council conventions in 1987 in Duluth and 2001 in St. Cloud and look forward to helping out in the next convention scheduled for 2019.
Maschler’s Maple Bush farm is 3 1/4 miles west of Randall on 230th St. They are always willing to share ideas and information with people interested in making maple syrup. More information can be found on the website at www.mnmaple.org.