How late will our season go?

I bet you’re wondering how much longer we’ll be out in the Sugar Bush collecting sap and boiling! As of right now, the sap is still continuing to flow but how do we know when to call it quits for the season?

Typically, when the weather stays at temperatures above freezing during the nights and/or buds start to form on the sugar maple trees, it’s time to stop collecting sap. Usually producing maple syrup with this sap will result in poor flavor! We’re monitoring the situation though and we plan to continue collecting sap this week!

Even though our season is ending soon, we still have plenty of syrup to sell! Next weekend is the Sugar Bush Open House at the college where you can learn about the maple syrup-making process from start to finish! Here are the details:

When: Saturday, April 6, 2013 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Sugar Bush, located at the end of Rich Road off Coddington Road

Community members are invited to come learn about producing mushrooms, maple syrup, and beekeeping. The Open House is free, open to the public, and will feature sampling of our mushrooms and maple syrup. There will also be tree tapping, beekeeping, and wood splitting demonstrations, as well as student musicians providing entertainment.

For more information on the Open House, visit the Open House tab at the top of our page. Hope to see you there!

Quick and Delicious Grain-Free Pancake

 

I’ve been making these for a while now, and I feel like it’s a recipe that’s easy enough for college life and the early morning shuffle. This recipe is totally grain free, so it’s great for various diets, and it is really delicious. The best part about this recipe: you can use two of our South Hill Forest Products (SHFP) for it! If you have sugar sensitivities, I also added a recipe for honey syrup. Enjoy!

Grain Free Pancakes

3 eggs 

2tbs. nut butter (I like to use almond butter)

1/3 cup coconut flour

1 cup pumpkin or squash puree (if you don’t have pumpkin/squash you can use one banana)

1/3 cup SHFP honey

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Ground Ginger

Pinch of Sea Salt

1. Combine the eggs, pumpkin puree (or a mashed banana), and honey in a large bowl. Since our honey if raw, you might need to slightly heat it up a little bit to be able to mix it in with all the ingredients.

2. Add the spices, usually I do about a tablespoon of each, but this is really about your personal taste. You can also add 1 tsp. of baking soda, but I usually don’t.

3. Preheat the griddle and add a liberal amount of butter. 

4. Spoon out about 3-5 tbs. of batter onto the griddle, and cook up your pancakes! Make sure you flip them to evenly cook them on each side, and enjoy them with some SHFP maple syrup!

 

This is my variation of a few recipes, but if you want a recipe for slightly fluffier pancakes, go to this link… 

http://www.wellfedhomestead.com/gaps-breakfast-coconut-flour-pumpkin-pancakes-with-cinnamon-syrup

Honey Cinnamon Syrup

1/2 cup raw honey

1/2 full fat coconut milk 

1/2 cup butter or ghee

Cinnamon

1. Add the honey, milk, and cinnamon to a saucepan and cook on medium heat. Be careful not to let it boil, it could burn and also strip the raw honey of it’s terrifically natural medicinal properties.

2. After it is warmed for about 10 mins., take it off the heat and whisk in the butter or ghee. This mixture will start to thicken after a few minutes, and now your ready to pour over your pancakes!

 

Why raw honey? Read here for a great explanation….

Benefits of Raw & Fermented Honey

 

 

Easy and delicious recipe for our oyster mushrooms!

Non-Timber Forest Products Mushroom-Leek-Onion Soup

Ingredients

1 qt. bone broth (or any meat broth)

½ can full-fat coconut milk

1 large leek, or 2 small leeks

2 scallions

1 yellow onion

4 large oyster mushrooms (or about 4 cups mushrooms)

2 tbsp. butter or coconut oil

Paprika

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Preparation

1. Melt the butter or coconut oil into a soup pot. Chop the onions, leeks, and scallions and sauté until softened. This took about 5-10 minutes, but sometimes I sauté it longer on a lower heat for a sweeter flavor.

2. Add paprika, and chopped up mushrooms and continue sautéing until the mushrooms soften.

3. Add the bone broth and coconut milk, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes or until ready to eat. At this point also add as much salt or pepper to my liking.

*This can be made vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth, or just adding water and about ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, instead of the bone broth.

** If you want to make a variation of this and make it a cream of mushroom soup, just blend/puree the final soup.

Measurin’ Those Brix

Measurin' Those Brix

Here’s an interesting fact for you!

You could probably guess that one of the major parts of the second phase of syrup boiling is measuring the sugar content of the syrup. But did you know that it’s measured in a unit called brix, or that it’s measured using a machine called a refractometer?

This little blue machine pictured above is one of them, and we put a few drops in there every so often as we boil in order to keep an eye on it. In order to be sold, maple syrup must have a sugar content of 66-69 brix.

The batch we just finished yesterday is at 68.1 brix, which means it’s just slightly sweeter than our last batch. If you’re on the Ithaca College campus, come buy some in the Center for Natural Sciences room 282!

Why South Hill Forest Products is Good for your Health!

All products made and sold through South Hill Forest Products contain immense amount of medicinal and nutritional properties. While your taste buds are soaking our scrumptious merchandise your body is also reaping all their benefits.

Maple Syrup

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Professor Navindra Seeram of University of Rhode Island has recently discovered that maple syrup contains 20 compounds that are beneficial to human health. These anti oxidant compounds are reported to have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-diabetic properties. Anti oxidant compounds found in maple sap is a result of the maple tree’s bark constant exposure to sun. It is believed that syrup has a has a higher concentration of these compounds since it is boiled down to a highly concentrated liquid.

Oyster Mushrooms
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Oyster mushrooms are highly nutritious and contain elements essential for heightened immune function. This high protein food contain B vitamins such as riboflavin and pantothenic acid, and essential minerals including copper, selenium and potassium. Medicinal compounds of mushrooms include glycoproteins, natural antibiotics, enzymes, and enzyme inhibitors.

Honey
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Honey contains a plethora of medicinal qualities, and has been a common affective folk remedy for many ailments. Honey is an excellent source of carbohydrates and is consumed by athletes to boost energy and reduce muscle fatigue. Honey contains anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Honey has can also be used in first aid situations. When applied to burns and wounds it helps prevent against affections, reduces the appearance of scars and expedites the healing process. Honey is probably most commonly used to heal sore throats since its antimicrobial properties work to kill infection causing agents. After a long night of drinking honey should be consumed the morning after to abate nasty hangover symptoms since it is believed to speed up the oxidation processes of the liver.
Mycelium Running

Herbs, meet our liquid gold.

Herbs, meet our liquid gold.

This semester the medicinal plant team has begun experimenting with infusing different local products — herbs, cayenne pepper, as well as red and black currents — into maple syrup. The medicinal plant team put together their innovative brains to create some interesting and delicious infused syrups, and the class taste tested the final products. The overall consensus was in favor of the lemon balm/lemon verbena blend, rosemary/sage blen, and cayenne pepper infused syrups. The medicinal plant folks are working through some legality “hiccups” at the moment, to enable the selling of these delicious infusions. The plant ladies are currently focusing on writing a grant that will include purchasing a legal license to sell different herbal South Hill Forest Products, so stay tuned for some local, herbal goodness.