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


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Waiting for Spring to Spring Forth

Waiting, waiting, waiting… we’re still waiting for sap.  We tapped all our trees on Wednesday, when it looked like the temperatures would creep above freezing.  Not so much.  All we’ve got to show for our first few days are a couple of buckets with a half-inch of frozen sap in the bottom.  It’s always a balancing act – if we tap too early (as we apparently did this year), we risk having the holes in the trees heal up before all the available sap is collected – the trees actually start healing the minute they’re tapped.  But if we tap too late and miss the beginning of the sap run, we’ll miss out on the delicately-flavored light amber maple syrup that those first days will bring.

Our other sugar sources, the honey bees, are not happy about the lingering freezing temperatures, either.  We’re not really worried about them freezing in their hives, since we wrapped all the boxes with black tar paper to keep the wind out and the heat in.  And even on a sub-zero day, a cluster of bees and their body heat can reach 80 degrees.  But the bees still leave the hive for their periodic “cleansing flights,” also known as “taking a little bee dump outside so they don’t turn the hive into giant latrine.”  Some of those bees won’t survive out in the cold long enough to make it back to the hive. 

The bees that don’t freeze their little bee butts off outside the hive are probably getting a tad hungry by now.  To keep our honey-creators alive through the winter, we left 60-70 pounds of honey in each hive to provide enough sustenance until spring.  But with winter continuing to stretch out, we’ve had to supplement their winter stash with some sugar water.  When they suck the sugar water out of the feeder, they’re tricked into thinking the spring nectar is flowing.  Oh, if only we could trick ourselves into thinking spring is so close!