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I finally got sap, looking forward to Maple Weekend(s)

Dave Klish

On Wednesday the sap started flowing, but it was slow. Then on Thursday afternoon it gradually improved so I had my first boil Friday. Throughout the day Friday it ran very well and it ran thru most of the night. Thus I had my second boil Saturday. Saturday it got cold early morning and froze the trees, it warmed to 34 F in the afternoon but that was not enough to start the sap. Then today they remained frozen. Looking at the forecast it should run again Wednesday from mid morning , maybe all night and all day Thursday. Then no sap flow Friday. I will save the sap from Wednesday and Thursday to boil on Saturday and Sunday for the Maple Weekend open house event.

If you are in the area, stop on Saturday or Sunday from 10-4 both days. Maple weekend will again be on the following weekend, same times. No appointment needed. Just stop in and see how maple syrup is made. We use old school and modern equipment. Old school, we boil on a 3′ x 8′ wood fired evaporator. Modern equipment,, we use an RO (reverse osmosis machine) which removes a lot of the water from the maple sap before we boil it. Then after the automatic draw off opens for the syrup to flow into a draw off tank we pump the syrup to a propane fired finisher, to heat the syrup back up to 205-210 F, verify the proper density and then filter the syrup in a filter press. From there the syrup is either pumped to a water jacketed bottler (if we need to fill more containers) or to a stainless steel barrel (if it is going to be stored to be packed later in the year). The syrup that is pumped to the WJ bottler then holds the syrup at 185-187 F and is then put into retail containers for sale.

For sap collection we use all modern tubing and we have vacuum on the trees. This helps us to collect the sap from the trees while causing less stress on the trees with more taps. Most trees up to 18-20″ diameter get one tap, over 20 gets 2 taps. At our sugarhouse the vacuum pulls all of the sap right to tanks just outside the sugarhouse. We also have one woods (called a sugar bush) we lease in the hills on Buyea Road, past the Madison County Landfill, on the right side heading towards Peterboro. At that bush all sap is again on vacuum and is pulled to one tank. From there we have to pump the sap from the tank into tanks on a trailer. Then we haul it to the sugarhouse for processing.

Maple sap runs as Winter moves into Spring. The sap flows after a freezing night or period of time, warms and the trees thaw. The trees are pushing the sap to feed the buds that will become leaves, we just intercept it and remove a small percentage. Sap flow does best with freezing nights and warm days.

We are located at 1220 Canal Road, Oneida. If coming from Oneida, take Main Street north towards Durhamville, before getting to Durhamville look for Rt 316. After going over the NY state Thruway, turn left on rt 316 (Lake Rd) at the flashing light. Then go about 2/10 mile, past Jack’s or Better, over the Old Erie Canal and turn left on Canal Rd (County Rt 76). Drive 3/10 miles, we are on the right, there will be Maple Weekend Open House signs. Our driveway goes in between 2 high fence gardens, the sugarhouse is back in the woods about 400′ off the road.

If coming fro Rome, take NY 46 north thru New London and Durhamville, after thru Durhamville, turn right at the flashing light onto Rt 316 (Lake Rd) Then go about 2/10 mile, past Jack’s or Better, over the Old Erie Canal and turn left on Canal Rd (County Rt 76). Drive 3/10 miles, we are on the right, there will be Maple Weekend Open House signs. Our driveway goes in between 2 high fence gardens, the sugarhouse is back in the woods about 400′ off the road.

If coming from the west on Rt 31, drive east and turn right just past White’s Farm Supply onto Rt 316. Proceed on 316 until the speed limit goes down to 40 MPH. Shortly after that take your first Right onto Canal Rd (County Rt 76). Drive 3/10 miles, we are on the right, there will be Maple Weekend Open House signs. Our driveway goes in between 2 high fence gardens, the sugarhouse is back in the woods about 400′ off the road.

If coming from Canastota or Wampsville on Canal Rd, drive until you go over the NYS Thruway, then at the bottom of the overpass ramp you will pass Schoolheimer Rd on the left, slow down, there is a woods on the left just past Schoolheimer, a few hundred feet, is out turn, at the mailbox on the left. Turn in to the left. Our driveway goes in between 2 high fence gardens, the sugarhouse is back in the woods about 400′ off the road.

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