Book of the Week #22

The Sugar Season: A Year in the Life of Maple Syrup, and One Family's Quest for the Sweetest Harvest by Douglas Whynott (Philadelphia: Da Capo Press, 2014)

"Sugarhouses are located in some of the most beautiful places. They sit by groves of maple trees, sugar orchards some people call them or, more commonly, sugarbushes. Maples are among the most magnificent trees on earth, in a plant form long known as the giver of life. We know this ever so truly now, in that trees extract carbon from the air and produce oxygen. I, for one, love to go into the forest and breathe the cool oxygenated air. Maple trees process carbon during photosynthesis, making carbohydrates that they later convert to sugar when he warm weather comes and the sap begins to flow. The wood of the sugar maple, also called rock maple, is extremely hard and produces those striations called bird's eye male and tiger maple. During the time when the sap runs, the maple tree produces gas internally, which pressurizes the tree and aids in the sap flow--the maple is on of those rare trees that have air inside. And maple trees produce that soft green light in the summer season. Of course they most famously blaze spectacularly in the fall. Sugarhouses are there, by these places, by these trees. Sugarhouses help define those landscapes and the cultures built around them." p. 3
In this book Douglas Whynott takes us through the season of a New Hampshire sugar house and through that lens shows his reader the story of a multi-million dollar industry. 

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