Pure Maple Syrup is a true delicacy of nature, made from the sap of the northern sugar maple trees. The sap is gathered in the early spring, usually while snow is still in the woods. Weather conditions must be just right for the sap to run - dropping below freezing at night and warming to above freezing during the day.


Sugar maple trees are ready to tap when they are at least 10" in diameter. As many as three taps can be placed in a large tree. Each year, new holes are drilled and the old tap holes heal within a year or two. The holes are cleaned and plastic spouts are connected to tubes that carry the sap to the main line. At the end of the main line, the sap is collected for transport to the sugar house where it is filtered into a stainless steel holding tank.


Maple sap as it comes from the tree is a clear, slightly sweet liquid, with a sugar content ranging from one to four percent. Sweeter sap is favored because less water will have to be evaporated to make the syrup. The sap must be evaporated as soon as possible because the freshest sap makes the best quality syrup.


The sugar house has an evaporator used to boil the sap into syrup. Evaporators are made up of one or more flat pans which sit on an arch, or firebox. We use a very hot hardwood fire to heat the sap to boiling.


The evaporator pans are divided by partitions, to keep the sap continuously flowing through the pans. Fresh sap enters at the back pan, where a float valve keeps the sap about an inch deep. As the water is boiled off the liquid becomes sweeter, and travels around the partitions, moving towards the front pan. The float valve allows fresh sap into the rear pan, keeping the level constant and the sap flowing through the pans. In this way water is constantly evaporated away, concentrating the natural maple sugar in the remaining liquid. The temperature and density of the liquid in the front pan are monitored until the boiling point is about 219 degrees and the sugar content reaches about 67 percent. This finished syrup is then drawn off, filtered, and bottled while still very hot.


Most of our fresh sap has a sugar content of about 2 percent, and it takes about FORTY gallons of this slightly sweet sap, boiled down, TO make ONE gallon of pure maple syrup.