The long winter is causing a slow start to the area's maple syrup production. But just because the cold and snow is making conditions challenging, doesn't mean it can't be a stellar year for the natural sweetener.
Jim Adamski, an owner of Adamski's Sugar Bush in Antigo, was testing his latest maple syrup boil in his sugar house Friday. The seemingly endless winter has made things difficult, but not impossible.
In mid-February, the Adamskis trekked through 176 acres of deep snow to tap 9,000 trees.
"Once we got tapped, the cold weather has kinda slowed our production down," Adamski said. "Our first boil was on the 15th of March. We only boiled four times in the month of March, which traditionally we make quite a bit of syrup in the month of March."
He says sap doesn't flow unless it's below freezing at night and a sunny 40 degrees during the day. Although we haven't seen many 40 degree days, there's still hope for the season.
"The lateness of the season really isn't too critical. Last year our last boil of syrup was on April 27th, so you know we've got the whole month of April," he said.
The bitter cold can change the composition of the sap, making it a little bit harder to work with. But the Adamskis are powering through.
They're not that off pace from last year - a year when Wisconsin maple syrup producers yielded more of the natural sweetener than they had in decades.
Adamski's Sugar Bush maple syrup can be found all over the state and country.
They're also hosting the Perfect Pancake Party on Sunday, April 6th at North Star Lanes in Antigo. Along with getting a breakfast with the works, people can buy maple syrup at $3.50 per pound if they bring a clean container with a cover.
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