Thursday, March 18, 2010

Maple Weekends

Red Schoolhouse Maple, located on Co. Rte. 4 in Fulton, shown with steam coming out of the roof during sap boiling.

Mark your calendars for the New York State Maple Producers Association's annual “Maple Weekends.” Several local maple sugar bushes will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 20 and 21, and March 27 and 28.

Maple Hollow Farm on county Route 85 in Hannibal and Red Schoolhouse Maple on county Route 4 in Fulton will be open for tours and sampling throughout both weekends.

I was able to tour Red Schoolhouse Maple this past week to get some photos and learn about the innovative way they produce maple syrup! They use a unique vacuum system to retrieve all of the sap, and then use state-of-the-art machines to boil and get the final product. I don’t want to give anything away, so you’ll have to stop by this weekend or next weekend to see for yourself!

I have posted some photos below to give you a sneak peak!

*There are several other local maple farms that are not participating in Maple Weekend, but are open for tours by appointment. They include: Heritage Hill Farm, Nemier Road, Lacona; Maple Help Stock Farms, Hurlbut Road, Mexico; Sticky Situations, county Route 176, Fulton; and Sugar Shack Jack's, county Route 22, Parish.

The brand new sugar shack.

The vacuum system

The system of hoses running from tree to tree

The hoses that collect the sap from the tree and drop them into the vacuumed hoses.

Brand new evaporator

Another view of the evaporator

Owner Kevin Enders shows how to use the evaporator

Delicious maple syrup!