“Did we come in the wrong door?’, visitors sometimes ask, walking in to hear a pump running, and see hot syrup running through a line into the filter press. Or dozens of breakfast boxes on tables, being filled with pancake mix and maple syrup, to be shipped across the country or delivered locally. Maybe we’re making maple candy, or maple cream, or, if they are really lucky, boiling sap with clouds of sweet steam rising out of the evaporator and into the sky.
“No,” we say, “We like you to see what we’re doing!”
We set aside whatever that is, for the time being, and off we go on another tour. We start out behind the sugarhouse, at the edge of the woods, talking about how old a maple should be to be tapped, and how old they get, how we used to gather the sap from each bucket all through the woods, and how you could hear the ”ping, ping, ping!” of the sap dripping into hundreds of just emptied buckets.
Visitors ask many questions, and some are of great interest to us.
“How do you plant all those trees?” is one of my favorites, along with, “When does it turn brown?”, looking at the clear sap. All marvel at the huge stacks of firewood, the distinct flavor of the four different grades of syrup, the shortness of the season and the expense of the equipment. Just to walk through the sugarwoods is a marvel, as the majestic maples tower over, and of course, put on their showy reds and oranges in the fall.
I can close my eyes and describe all that there is to see, and smell, and taste, but come see for yourself! We love to tell folks all about our lives in the world of maple, as it truly is our life, not at all our jobs. A tour of the sugarhouse is never forgotten.