This year is the first time the sugar shack at SwissLane Farms was open to the public. Collecting sap at the farm has been going on for six generations! There are 1,000 buckets hanging from maple trees as well as tubing, all collecting the sweet sap.
One of the beams of the shack serves as one way to track when the first tap is placed. This year with the lingering winter, yesterday was the first a tree was tapped.
Signs in the shack and in the woods shared history about the shack and facts about collecting sap from trees.
A sheet of trivia questions was handed out. Reading the informational signs helped kids and adults answer the questions.
Sap is starting to flow from the trees, although the days will need to be a bit warmer for the buckets to fill at a faster pace. The extended cold daytime temperatures will likely mean a shorter season of collecting sap.
The more modern lines make collecting sap easier as it can be funneled to one location, it’s not as labor intensive, and there’s no need to worry about debris in the sap.
Inside the shack the water is being removed from the sap. The longer container provides more surface area for water to escape.
The sap is heated by a fire below. Once the liquid reaches 219 degrees the syrup is released into another container.
Maple syrup made at the farm is available at the SwissLane specialty shop along with honey, meats and cheese.