Extension office maple syrup programs coming soon

Published 10:42 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

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Many people enjoy maple syrup, but most are unaware of how to make the product. Those looking for information on the process have a couple of opportunities coming up to learn the ins and outs of maple syrup production courtesy of the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service.

During a recent telephone interview, extension agent Jeremy Williams discussed the upcoming opportunities.

“There is going to be an informational session via Zoom on Sept. 11, from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.,” Williams said. “It’s going to be a really good informational program about maple syrup across the state, not just in our area.”

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According to Williams, maple syrup production is becoming more popular in Kentucky.

“Maple is gaining speed,” Williams said. “It’s not as big as a lot of our commodities that you would think of, but it is gaining. Almost monthly I run into somebody else that’s producing maple, so it’s one of those things that’s being produced from Harlan to Hickman, or Pikeville to Paducah. It’s across the state.”

Williams mentioned opportunities to make maple syrup can be found locally.

“I think there are very good opportunities here in Harlan County,” Williams said. “We’ve got maple trees here. A lot of people may have maple trees in their backyard. They just don’t realize that it’s amazing what you can do with ten maple trees and how much maple syrup you can get from those ten trees.”

Williams mentioned maple syrup may be made for personal use or as an enterprise.

“One of the largest producers of maple syrup in the state is in Letcher County,” Williams said. “It’s very viable here in eastern Kentucky.”

Williams added maple syrup production has been occurring across Kentucky since approximately the mid-1800s.

“People don’t think a lot about maple syrup in Kentucky,” Williams said. “When you think about maple syrup, you tend to think of the New England states. But it’s a viable operation here.”

Williams added there will be another program devoted to maple syrup production next month.

“We’re going to have an in-person get-together here in Harlan,” Williams said. “We’re going to have a backyard maple syrup program on Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Harlan Depot. It’s going to be small scale, how to get started, what you need to get started, and the correct steps for making maple syrup right in your backyard.”

There is no fee for either the online or in-person program.

For more information or to register for the in-person program on Oct. 10, call the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service at (505)-573-4464. To register for the online program occurring on Sept. 11, go to the Harlan County Cooperative Extension Service’s Facebook page and follow the provided link.