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Making Maple Syrup is a Rite of Spring for Brainerd Couple

Andy and Susan Cairns drove their pickup along a muddy road Wednesday near North Long Lake to check the sap collecting bags that dotted the maple forest. The couple speculated on what type of day it would be. Lots of sap or just a little. Theories were thrown around how low barometric pressure means little sap and so on. For years, the couple has been a member of a four-couple team that shares the collecting bags each syrup season. This is how the system works, the Cairns were first in the rotation this year, As soon as they have their fill or enough to make a good boil, the next team takes over and so on. According to Andy, last year was terrible for maple syrup and 2016 was great. “I really depends on the weather or who knows what.” he said Susan Cairns of Brainerd pours maple sap into a pail Wednesday while collecting in the forest near North Long Lake. Susan and her husband, Andy are part of a four-couple team, that shares collecting bags and equipment each spring. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video