Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Maple Syrup

When I was at my nieces last weekend they gave us a tour of their maple syrup business. I don't know all the technical stuff but thought I would show you a little of their operation.
The blue tubing that you see is how they tap the trees. They tap between 1500 and 1600 trees on 2 properties.
Tim is explaining that all they have to do is drill a hole in the tree and put the tap on the end of the short tube in the hole. When the tap is pulled the tree immediately begins to repair itself.
This machine causes a vacuum that pulls the sap thru the tubing.
The sap is put in these large plastic vats.
This is the barn that holds all the equipment.
The sap is then put into these huge stainless steel troughs.

This is the inside of the trough. There are 2 of them.
The sap then goes into the heated area.
The steam goes out these giant pipes. People have come to their house and told them their barn was on fire when the see all the steam coming out the roof. Others, that know what they are doing, come over just to watch. When it reaches this point it is syrup. Just turn on the spigot and out it comes. Under this area is where the fire wood goes. The fire burns up 2 pallets every 6 minutes and they have to use an iron rod to open the door to put in more wood.

The syrup is then put into steel barrels. All the barrels in the background are full of syrup. The barrel on the rack is the one they are currently pouring from.

There is a whole other process in getting the syrup ready for sale. They also make maple sugar candy and suckers and make up gift baskets to sell at gift shops. Tim said they only made 700 and some gallons this year because it was a bad year. They usually make 1,000.
I'm hoping to take a trip out there next spring when they are actually making syrup. I had no idea what a huge project this is.


PEA said...

My youngest brother has a maple farm and does all his own syrup also...not on the grand scale as your niece though. He has about 300 trees tapped and the sap is all collected by hand. I love going to help out when it's in season and watching the sap boiling in the evaporators and seeing it turn into maple syrup is truly an awesome experience. His evaporator is the one where you have to burn wood under it so it's a true old fashioned way of making the syrup:-) Do go next year when it's in season, you won't regret it!! xox

Zoey said...

Wow! Around here they just hang a bucket on a tree. :)