Sugaring Off

Maple Sugaring season can’t exactly be located on a calendar. It’s a time dictated by intertwining natural phenomena. Wind speed and direction, air temperature fluctuations above and below the freezing mark, snow cover, frost depth in the ground and strength of sunlight are some of the conditions that come into play to start a run of sap.  Last year’s end-of-season date was this year’s first for “sugaring off”.

Collecting sap from buckets hung on the maple trees in our sugarbush begins the process of turning clear liquid into amber syrup. Boiling down the sap is done in a set of stainless steel pans on an “arch” in the sugar house. The firebox, stoked with limb wood and lumber mill scraps, provides the heat.