Blue bottles hold blue-ribbon sap.
What's in those big blue bottles sprouting at the base of the trees surrounding the Dixboro village green and the old Dixboro School on Plymouth Road? Gallons and gallons of sap that will be reduced to maple syrup by five friends--Steve Day, Mark Korzon, Rob Martens, Andy McLaughlin, and Derrick Oxender. The quintet--who met playing hockey in an over-forty league--tap ninety trees throughout the Ann Arbor area, draining the containers daily and boiling down the sap in their post-and-beam sugaring shack in Superior Township. Depending on the sugar content, it takes forty to eighty gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup, but the result is worth it: their Dixboro Pure syrup won blue ribbons at the Chelsea Fair the past two years and sells briskly at Downtown Home and Garden.
[Originally published in March, 2010.]