ARCHIVED Maple Syrup
Franklin Farm maple syrup is as unique as it is delicious. Many factors influence its flavor. Soil type, diversity of species in the woodland, climate, weather during the sugaring season, and even the weather of the preceding year all play a role. Collection methods, the type of fire, and how the syrup is filtered are also important.
In late February our family heads to the woods to tap the maple trees and ready the lines. We only harvest a fraction of the sap produced by the maples here on the farm. Plenty is left for the trees to live and grow. We set out about 2700 taps. A tree 10 inches in diameter gets one tap. A tree 15 inches in diameter gets 2 taps. The biggest trees get a maximum of 3 taps. The trees and their taps are connected via plastic tubing called “sap line”. When the daytime temperatures warm up into the 40’s and the nighttime temperatures drop down below freezing, the sap begins to climb into the trees from their roots. The harvested portion flows downhill to the sugarhouse where it is collected in big stainless steel tanks. From there it is piped into the sugarhouse where it is boiled down into maple syrup.
We use a wood-fired 4’ X 12’ evaporator. At least two people are needed in the sugarhouse: the fireman, who feeds the fire every 8 minutes or so, and the sugarmaker, who monitors the workings of the pan as the sap travels through it on its way to becoming syrup.
Maple sap usually contains around 2% sugar. At that percentage, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of syrup. The sap is boiled down to the correct density (all the different grades are boiled to the same density) and filtered through paper and felt filters into a canner.
The result is a fantastic tasting syrup with its complete mineral profile intact.
Making maple syrup that tastes this good takes sugarmakers who love what they do and the tradition that goes along with it. Here on the Franklin Farm, David, John, and Mary Ellen, along with the invaluable help of several syrup-crazed friends and relatives, do all that it takes to produce our syrup!
Year after year people tell us it is the best they have ever tasted. We hope you think so too!