I think viable
is in the eye of the beholder. Put differently, it's all in the maple sap that floats your pancake boat!
Having a local sugar is pretty amazing (one that isn't fruit-based.. I make apple syrup too). We certainly have enough wood around here to cook it down. But I think what I'm most excited to tell folks about is that you don't need to cook it at all! You can drink as is, Brew your tea, carbonate, squeeze in some "citrus" (eg sumac), whatever. If you like it a little sweeter, reduce it a touch first. Make a bag of maple ice cubes for special drinks or even pressure can
it (yes takes extra energy).
But also yes, people are successfully profiting off of it: Neil
I've made some very delicious big leaf maple syrup since my original post and don't feel like the ratio is a big deal for me personally. I'm used to tapping red and norway maple which are both around 60 to 1 and birch which is even less. The thing that I'm still having a hard time with is timing. When it flows here seems to be so random, and by the time conditions are pretty good, your holes have begun to heal and you don't get flow! So you have to continually tap through the season and really catch they flows at the right time. Especially because the flow may only last a few days (in my area at least). I'm into the challenge though. Being tapped
into my environment and such ;)