Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:41

Sap season has begun Featured

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SKOWHEGAN  - Maine maple syrup season has officially begun.

And this year they had a some extra challenges.


Sap season starts when mother nature says so.


Extension educator at UMaine Kathy Hopkins said "And that's when the temperatures are warm during the day around 40 or so and drop below freezing at night."


Maine is known for it's maple syrup and it's producers rely on it for income.


Manager of Strawberry Hills Farm Jeremy Steeves said "It's pretty busy but that's normal. It's a little early, and the thing about sap season is that you're never quite sure when it's gonna begin or end."


Sugar maker producers go out as early as new years some years, and start taping trees.


"You can see some tubing around us here, and the smaller pipes kind of collect sap from four or five trees and then it goes into a larger pipe and that goes to a collection point" said Steeves."I use osmosis to concentrate so that gets rid of about 90 percent of the water before I boil it, and then I do the cooking process on the evaporator that everyone's familiar with."


After the maple syrup is collected it's then sent to be packaged.


Manger Eric Ellis said "Here we are processing, packaging finished maple syrup and preparing for distribution."


The winter storms and the wind storm in October had an impact on the season .


"It caused a lot of damage here usually I figure around a couple days just doing the major repairs in the fall, and it took me more like a week. There were a lot of down limbs and stuff and I've got hundred of thousands of tubing all strung out in the woods" said Steeves.


"It's a lot of hours and a lot of work, but it's very satisfying" said Steeves.


Shonna Narine

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Shonna Narine joined the ABC7 and FOX22 team in August 2017. Originally from Long Island (although she hides her accent for TV) she's excited to see what Maine has to offer.

She graduated from Five Towns College in Dix Hills Long Island where she anchored for their TV Club, and had her own radio show called "All Access Entertainment."

She won an outstanding achievement award and graduated on the dean's list.

Prior to graduation Shonna interned at News12 Long Island.

Shonna comes from a big family. With three older sisters, her parents, and six nieces and nephews there's never a dull moment when she's around them. When she's not working she enjoys working out, dancing, spending time with her fiance, and planning her wedding! Shonna would love to hear if you have any story ideas. You can email her at [email protected].