Sunday, December 02, 2012

To Syrup, With Love

Since I've been trying to give a little more time to writing lately -- writing articles, that is -- I've started working some little field trips into my schedule.  Last week I headed south to visit a friend from Local Roots to see his family's farm and to check out his home business.

With 55 acres of rolling pasture bordered by woods and gardens, you'd think Michael Jaeb would do more with livestock or field agriculture.  Instead, he gathers both wild crops and cultivated ones, takes them into his new commercial processing kitchen, and makes syrup.

He started with maple syrup and gradually learned how to make hickory syrup from the bark of his shagbark hickory trees.  Following the success of that, he started developing syrups using the fruit and herbs from his gardens.

Since I use a number of his syrups in my baked goods, I was thrilled to get to see behind the scenes of these beautiful bottles.  He gave me a tour of his kitchen, answered lots of questions, patiently allowed my snap-happy photography -- then fed me a deliciously creamy squash soup for lunch before we headed out to walk the back 40.

Over the holidays I'll have to sit down and work on the article as I hope to send it to a local magazine for their spring issue, but suffice it to say, it was a wonderful afternoon and I learned a great deal.

Now that's sweet success!


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