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


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Quicker Collection

See that beautiful photo there?  That nearly full bucket of fresh, begging-to-be-boiled sap?  Yes, that’s what we’ve been waiting for.  The sap run is at its peak, and we aim to collect every available drop. A couple of years ago, the bottleneck of our syrup operation was the boiling.  We solved (or partially solved) that issue by upgrading our stove.   

So now our bottleneck is sap collection.  The 55 gallon plastic drum bungee corded onto a wagon (aka the “collection cart”), towed by our four wheeler just isn’t giving us the efficiency we’re looking for.  There’s still the stopping & dismounting from the four wheeler at every tree.  The unhooking of the bucket, the dumping of the sap into a larger 5 gallon bucket, the rehanging of the bucket, the replacing of the lid that has inevitably fallen into the snow at some point in the process.  The trudging through the snow to the next tree, the dumping of 2-3 trees’ worth of sap into the drum, the remounting of the four-wheeler.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat for one hundred trees.

But we’ve seen the future, and the future is plastic.  Plastic tubing, to be exact.  With some assistance from good old fashioned gravity.  Most of our land is pretty flat, but we do have a nice slope on the southeast side that we’re using as a trial run for sap-collecting tubing.  Before the season started, we attached a length of one-inch diameter plastic tubing to a series of mature maples.  At the top of the slope, the tubing is attached higher on the tree, and by the bottom of the slope it’s only a couple feet off the ground.  A carpenter’s level assured us that we had a consistent downward slope of tubing with no level spots for sap to pool.  Then once it was time to tap the trees, instead of hanging a bucket from a metal spline on each tree along the slope, we used plastic taps.  The plastic taps have small tubes attached to them that splice into the main tubing, giving the sap a clear path out of the tree, down toward lower ground.  At the bottom of this sap water slide?  One of those beautiful blue 55 gallon drums, already partially full of clear, pure maple sap.