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The Maple Sugar Book: Together with Remarks on Pioneering as a Way of Living in the Twentieth Century (Good Life Series) Paperback – March 1, 2000
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About the Author
Helen Nearing left city life with her husband, Scott, nearly sixty years ago to move first to Vermont and then to their farm in Harborside, Maine. The Nearings' food and living philosophies have provided the guidelines for many who seek a simpler way of life. Helen is the author of Wise Words for the Good Life: A Homesteader's Personal Collection, Loving and Leaving the Good Life, Simple Food for the Good Life, and co-author (with Scott Nearing) of The Maple Sugar Book.
Scott Nearing was one of the great social critics and humanitarians of the 20th century. Known throughout the world as the progenitors of the "back to the land" movement, the Nearings combined pragmatism and vision to create a blend now being celebrated by new generations of readers.
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The book starts with a history of sugar making. Then it includes some how-to information (current as of the 1940s). This section includes chapters on maintenance of the sugar bush, equipment for sugaring, sap and weather, making sugar, making syrup, and marketing. The book closes with a section that describes some of the philosophy of the Nearing's homesteading project, especially those aspects related to maple sugaring. And in the end, there are a few recipes for using maple syrup.
Because of Scott Nearing's academic training and experience, the book has an academic flavor, and the chapters on the history of sugaring are quite well documented. The details in the book about sugaring aren't quite sufficient for rank newbies to take off and try to start their own sugaring operation- -if you want to know exact details about constructing a sugar shack or using an evaporator, it would be better to look for a more technical book with a recent publication date. The book's main value is for those who wish to learn more about how the Nearings put their thoughts about cash income and bread labor into action. With that in mind, the book is truly a classic, and well worth reading many times through.