Tapping season begins in mid-January for our crew. Tapping is the technique utilized by maple syrup producers to collect maple sap from a maple tree. A small 5/16” hole is drilled into a maple tree no further than 1.5” deep. We place one tap per tree unless it is larger than 18” in diameter, then we place no more than two taps in the tree.
During this part of the season, our crew takes to the mountains with our spiked boots, hydration packs, and tools needed for the long tapping days that last from dusk until dawn. It takes our crew approximately three weeks to complete the tapping process. Once all of the maple trees are tapped, then the fun really begins. As the initial sap starts to run, we must frantically work to discover and repair any leaks in our tubing system. This is an ongoing process throughout the entire maple season. The tubing system is a collection of several series of main lines which bring the sap from the maple tree to the sugar house or the collection stations.
Once the maple sap reaches the sugar house, the boiling begins. This process involves removing the water from the pure maple sap to produce maple syrup. As it reaches the appropriate density, the pure maple syrup is then slowly drawn off the evaporator. The maple syrup is then stored in stainless steel drums until further packaged.