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Book Data

ISBN: 9781603583978
Year Added to Catalog: 2013
Book Format: Paperback
Book Art: Full-Color Throughout
Dimensions: 8 x 10
Number of Pages: 344
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green
Release Date: October 4, 2013
Web Product ID: 759

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The Sugarmaker's Companion

An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch, and Walnut Trees

by Michael Farrell

"In The Sugarmaker's Companion, Michael Farrell presents both a philosophical and a practical look at today's tree sap and syrup industry. The book provides pertinent and useful information for both hobby and commercial tree tapping operations. In a changing industry that is heavily shadowed by tradition, Michael combines the old tested methods with up-to-date research and science. This comprehensive book looks at both the big picture and many of the small details. Even for non-sugarmakers, it will be an informative and enjoyable read."

Gary Backlund, author of Bigleaf Sugaring: Tapping the Western Maple

The Sugarmaker’s Companion is the comprehensive guide small-and large-scale syrup producers have been waiting for in their quest to create a profitable business model. Michael Farrell documents the untapped potential of American forests and shows how sugaring can turn a substantial profit for farmers while providing tremendous enjoyment and satisfaction.

Farrell, sugarmaker and director of the Uihlein Forest at Cornell University, incorporates the wisdom of traditional sugarmaking with the value of modern technology (such as reverse-osmosis machines and vacuum tubing). His balanced view of the industry offers a realistic picture of how modern technology can be beneficial—economically and environmentally.

The first book of its kind, The Sugarmaker’s Companion includes:

  •  A focus on maple syrup as a healthy, local, sustainably produced alternative to corn syrup and other highly processed artificial sweeteners;
  • Discussions about organic certification, sugarhouse registration, and the new international grading system;
  • Information on marketing to create a profitable business model based on scale, interest, access, and more;
  • Detailed analyses of the economics of buying and selling sap;
  • Information on ways to process and market other tree saps, including birch and walnut;
  • Ways to enhance diversity in the sugarbush and interplant understory crops for value-added products such as ginseng, goldenseal, and mushrooms; and,
  • An economic analysis of utilizing maple trees for syrup or sawtimber production.

In addition, readers and sugarmakers will learn plenty of practical, how-to skills, such as:

  • If, and on what scale, syrup production is right for them;
  • How to find trees for tapping;
  • The essentials of sap collection;
  • The art and science of sugarmaking;
  • How to build community through syrup production; and,
  • Valuable information on ecological forest management and value-added products.

Appealing to foresters, organic farmers with woodlands, homesteaders, preppers, permaculture enthusiasts, and, of course, sugarmakers, this book is applicable to a wide range of climates and regions, and is sure to change the conversation around syrup production and prove invaluable for both home-scale and commercial sugarmakers alike. This is a unique guide to making an integrated sugaring operation, interconnected to the whole-farm system, woodland, and community.


About the Author

Michael Farrell

Michael Farrell serves as the director of Cornell University's Uihlein Forest, a maple syrup research and extension field station in Lake Placid, NY. There he taps approximately 5,000 maples, 600 birch trees, and a couple dozen black walnut and butternut trees every year. He has authored more than fifty articles on maple syrup production and forest management and often presents to maple producer and landowner organizations. Michael earned his bachelor's in economics from Hamilton College, his master's in forestry from SUNY-ESF, and his PhD in natural resources from Cornell University. ...

View Michael's full profile page >





$39.95
On Sale: $29.96!
Format: Paperback
Status: Available to Ship
Ships: Next day


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International orders can be placed by phone (802-295-6300) or email

Michael Farrell's Upcoming Events

  • Michael Farrell at NOFA Summer Conference
    NOFA Summer, Amherst MA
    August 9, 2014, 1:00 pm
  • Michael Farrell at NOFA Summer Conference
    NOFA Summer Conference, Amherst MA
    August 10, 2014, 1:00 pm
  • Michael Farrell at Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia
    Old Orchard Inn, RR2 , Wolfville Nova Scotia
    October 23, 2014, 12:00 pm
  • Michael Farrell at 2014 Partners in Community Forestry National Conference
    2014 Partners in Community Forestry National Conference, Charlotte NC
    November 5, 2014, 12:00 pm
  • Michael Farrell at the 2014 Weston Price Conference
    Weston Price Wise Traditions Conference, Indianapolis IN
    November 7, 2014, 12:00 pm

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