Kopp's Crops is a family-run business specializing in maple syrup, honey and fresh vegetables. We are located 45 miles north of Minneapolis in Bradford Township on our 65 acre farm.

*Now Selling at the Cambridge-Isanti Farmers Market!*

Local Orders: For pickup in Isanti, Cambridge, Brooklyn Park or Arden Hills, please email koppscrops@gmail.com or call 763-772-7057 to place your order and arrange payment & pickup. Available products are listed in the shopping cart below.

Outside the Twin Cities: Please use the online shopping cart below. USPS shipping charges will be calculated at checkout.



For questions, please email us at koppscrops@gmail.com

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We're Boiling, But Just Barely

Today was the first maple syrup boil of our maple syrup season.  And likely the last.  At least it was a vigorous, rolling boil!  Murphy’s Law of Agriculture, Kopp Corollary:  “In the first year that your operation has a waiting list of maple syrup customers, the weather will take a turn for the wacky and dry up production. Literally and nearly completely.”

It’s not the dry winter that has thwarted our season.  If anything, the lack of moisture this winter should have resulted in sap with less liquid and a higher concentration of sugar, making it faster to boil.  No, it was the temperature that did us in.  When the days are above freezing, the sap rises up the trunk of the tree.  Freezing nights drive it back down to the roots.  Like it’s riding a little temperature-controlled sap elevator.  But if the nights aren’t cool enough, the sap stays up in the branches, and the “run” is over until next season.  Please note the weather report in Minnesota for the upcoming week:  highs in the sixties & seventies, lows well above freezing.  Bye, bye sap…have fun in the tree tops!  There's a small chance that the snow cover and shade deeper in the woods is keeping temperatures low enough to delay the sap run.  We might eke out a few more gallons.  But we’re not holding our breath.
Of course, this doesn’t explain why we’ve only collected a paltry 30 gallons of sap (that is, less than a gallon of syrup) in the past week, when the forecast should have been perfect for vertical sap travel.  Our hypothesis is that the syrup actually started moving during the unseasonably warm week we had in February, and stayed up in the branches.  And to think, we came this close to tapping our trees that week.  But ultimately we decided that February was too early to tap.  Now, does anybody know where we can pick up a meteorological crystal ball for next syrup season?