Sawyer, MN (NNCNOW.com)
Breaking trail is one of the chores that pops up this time of year at the Spirit Lake Farm near Sawyer, Minnesota.
Nestled on the southwest corner of the Fond Du Lac Reservation, the operation is run by band member Bruce Savage and his manager, Brandon Topping.
Their product is as old as the Anishinaabe people.
"Maple sugar is one of the oldest forms of agricultural commerce on this continent." said Savage.
Savage, Topping and the farms' other employees have fourteen hundred maple trees to tap.
Many of the workers make up a who's who of Native Nations.
"My wife is Pyramid Lake Paiute. My children are Turtle Mountain Ojibwe and Brandon is Sac And Fox so we have a whole intertribal commerce going on here." said Savage.
Savage is proud to continue the long Native American heritage of agriculture through his maple sugar and syrup operation.
He's glad to share the tradition with others who make their own syrup.
"Farm manager Brandon Topping says this is the perfect week weather–wise to start tapping your own trees." said reporter Dave Anderson.
"We're looking for cold nights and warm days; usually temperatures around 37 in the day to 40's and at night, drops to 20's or teens." said Topping.
To make your own version of one of nature's purest treats, simply tap a maple tree, collect the sap and boil it down to the proper consistency.
Savage feels it's an environmentally friendly and sustainable delicacy that can be passed onto future generations if care is taken of the trees and land.
"We don't own this land. We're just borrowing it from our grandchildren." said Savage.
In Sawyer for Nature Matters, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.
If you do try to make your own maple syrup this spring, remember it takes 30 to 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup.