Backyard maple syrup production workshop set at Dixon Springs Ag Center
The fourth annual backyard maple syrup production workshop is planned Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center at Simpson.
The free workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to the public. The ag center is located at 354 State Highway 145 N.
The workshop is scheduled to be taught by Chris Evans, a University of Illinois Extension forester, and Jesse Randall, a Michigan State University outreach specialist.
From 10 a.m. to noon, those who attend the workshop will have an opportunity to learn the basics and to see firsthand the entire process of backyard maple syrup production.
A free lunch will be served at noon. Following lunch, the scaling up of production, advanced techniques and equipment demonstrations are planned from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
University of Illinois Extension plans to offer activities for children during the morning session. The activities will include taste testing of real maple syrup.
Organizers of the workshop noted that maple sap collection and syrup production are easy, relatively inexpensive to start and a late winter project that can involve the entire family.
Sugar maple trees, the species typically thought of for sap collection, are abundant in Southern Illinois. Other species also can be tapped to make syrup.
Those who want to attend the workshop can come to the morning session, the afternoon session or both sessions.
Registration is needed to attend the workshop. Registration is available online at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/state/calendar_event.cfm?ID=80344.