Discovering New England has been a most pleasurable task. A couple of college friends introduced us to the delights of Maple Sugaring season by bringing us to our first Sugar Shack. What is a Sugar Shack? you might ask. This is where they turn maple sap into maple syrup. It takes something like 40 gallons of sugary watery sap to make 1 gallon of sweet maple syrup. And most of these places simply boil the water away, a process that takes quite a bit of time and some careful attention.
We have visited several maple syrup farms and hope to visit even a few more. We started with the North Hadley Sugar Shack. Not knowing what we were in for, my friends Peter and Surita brought us here for a delicious brunch. The pancakes were great and, of course, so was the syrup. The sugaring room wasn’t open when we visited there. We actually learned more about the sugaring process when we ventured out on our own to Steve’s Sugar Shack. Steve showed us the ins and outs of the process.
It seems we just couldn’t get enough so we visited Hanging Mountain Farms. We brought our camera along and Dave documented the sugaring process at this family owned farm.
The fire needs constant attention to make sure it is the proper temperature to boil off all that water.
Onlookers amidst the steam….
The tubes that bring the sap to the holding tank….
Hanging Mountain Farm owner shares his story with visitors…
Steam and more steam….
Our most recent excursion brought us north to Deerfield and the Williams Farm Sugarhouse. We brought my parents here during their visit and none of us were disappointed. We were lucky the sugarhouse was open on a weekday. My only complaint would be that the learning came from posters on the wall rather than the folks who were doing the work. Still the sugaring room had the same sweet smell, and the building was beautiful.
Inside the sugaring room….
After our brunch, we drove to Historic Deerfield where we saw the traditional maple taps and buckets…
Next stop, Davenport Maple Farm in Shelburne.