Maple Syrup

© 2019 University of Minnesota Press

Honey and maple syrup might be better for you than sugar. They might be better for the environment. But even better, and sweet as anything, is how these natural ingredients taste and the wonders they do for a dish.

Chiot's Run/Flickr

   When I make my maple syrup, it’s the only time I find any peace. My dog stays by the fire and I can hear the popping and the cracking of the trees and sometimes I can hear deer walking in the snow out in the woods.  

I look up at the moon and I watch the clouds go past and it’s the same moon that kid in Vietnam would have looked at. I make my syrup for him, Dr. Vainio. I always make my syrup for him.

©Emily Ford. Used with permission.

Emily Ford isn't the kind of gardener to sit around twiddling her thumbs when winter drags on.

The harsh winter took her bees, but she's already planning to restock the hives. And while she was waiting for spring to arrive, she tapped some friends to borrow gear and then tapped some maple trees.

Suffice it to say that this year, Glensheen will be abuzz with bees, in bloom with roses, and dripping with maple syrup.

KUMD is saddened by the passing of Larry Smallwood [Amik], a longtime contributor to our program Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa.  We send our thoughts and condolences to his family, and to the many people in the community who benefited from his wisdom and guidance.  Amik grew up in Aazhoomoog, the Lake Lena District of Mille Lacs, and served as the director of language and culture for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.  He also taught Ojibwe language at many institutions, including UMD.

Rogotzke's Simple Gifts

Silver maple makes great syrup.

So does white and yellow birch.

Pines?  Not so much.

Who'd a thunk it?

The ins and outs of maple syrup - and maple sugar candy - from Dave Rogotzke, who tapped the first trees of the season just yesterday.

On this episode of Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa, Larry Amik Smallwood and host Erik Redix talk about making maple syrup. 

Larry Amik Smallwood grew up in Aazhoomoog, the Lake Lena District of Mille Lacs.  He has worked as a language instructor for the Minneapolis Public Schools, Nay Ah Shing School, the Leech Lake Tribal College, and the University of Minnesota - Duluth.  Since 1999, he has served as the director of language and culture for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.