Dear Sun Spots: Where would one be able to buy metal taps for getting the sap from maple sugar trees? Thanks for the help. – No Name, No Town.

Answer: In the meantime, you might like to check the following for tubing, connectors, spouts, and other supplies for making syrup:

Paris Farmers Union, 410 Center St., Auburn, 783-1366. They are open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Any of the Paris Farmers Union retail stores should also carry these items.

Maine Maple Sunday is March 26. For tours and more, you and others may be interested in contacting the following for details on their Maine Maple Sunday tours and more: Maple Hill Farm, 390 Titcomb Hill Road, Farmington, 778-4506; Crystal Spring Farm, 1413 Main St., Oxford, 743-6723; Grandpa Joe’s Sugar House, 103 Murch Road, North Baldwin, 787-2903; West Minot Sugar House, Route 119, Minot, 966-3643; Maple Valley Farms, 1304 Franklin Road (Route 133), Jay, 645-9549/2328; Sweet Maple Farm, Route 156, Wilton, 645-4596; Sweet Williams, 66 Spiller Road, Casco, 627-7362; Swift Acres Farm, 61 Hebron Center Road, Hebron 966-2010; Weston’s Sugar House, River Strewt, Fryeburg, 935-2567; J.L. Dyke Farms, 93 Farrand Hill Road, Canton, Jillson’s Sugar House, Corner of Jordan Bridge Road and Ballpark Road, Sabattus, 375-4486 or Megquier Hill Farm, 260 Megquier Hill Road, off Route 11 in Poland, 998-5485.

For a more in-depth listing check out www.getreal-maine.com.

Perhaps you and other readers will enjoy the following recipes once you’ve finished the process of tapping and boiling your syrup. You will find them online at www.mainemapleproducers.com:

Crisp-edged maple oatmeal cookies, ingredients: 6 tablespoons butter, ½ cup Maine maple syrup, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, 1 egg, 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, pinch of allspice, ½ cup rolled oats (not instant). Method: Sift or thoroughly stir together the flour, salt, soda, and allspice. Cream the butter, then beat in the syrup, lemon rind, and egg. Stir in the dry ingredients, then the oatmeal. Drop by teaspoons on a lightly buttered baking sheet and spread flat with a knife blade. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges are well-browned, then cool on wire racks. Centers will remain slightly cakey, edges will crisp as they cool. Makes about 3 dozen.

Dear Sun Spots: Here is a tip I think worthy of passing on to your readers.

There is an organization with chapters in various places throughout the country called freecycle. To see if there is one in your area go to www.freecycle.org. The purpose of these groups is to reuse usable goods instead of throwing them away.

The manner of operation is this: Once a person has signed onto the host group, when you have an item you no longer need or want, post the item for someone else to claim. If you need an item, post that. Perhaps someone else has it and would be willing to pass it on. I belong to two groups here in Pennsylvania and have used them successfully several times. If there isn’t one in that area, perhaps one of your readers would be willing to start one? – Martha in Tyrone, Pa.

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