MAPLE SUGARING TRIVIA WITH NICK
How much sap does it take to make a gallon of maple syrup?
It takes an average of 40 gallons of tree sap to make 1 gallon of finished syrup! During the 2020 Season the sugar content was low so it took 54 gallons from my trees to make 1 gallon of syrup!!
When can you make maple syrup and how long is the season?
Typically, the sap starts to run mid to late February and can go into April. This can shift forward or back a week or two, depending on the weather and also the location of the trees. The season averages 5-6 weeks each year. Needless to say, it’s guaranteed to mess with a winter-blues tropical getaway for us! We’ll be busy at the farm tapping trees from January – March and sugaring March through April most years.
Why does the sap stop flowing?
When the temperature stops fluctuating between freezing at night and thawing during the day, then the sap stops flowing. It’s the saddest day on earth.
Does tapping a tree hurt the tree?
Trees are only tapped once they reach a diameter of 10 to 12 inches when measured 4.5 feet above ground level, which means the tree is anywhere from 40-50 years old. Tapping a tree is similar to a human donating blood - only a small amount is taken for a short amount of time, so no harm is done in either case. There are trees that have been tapped for more than 150 years… not quite ours though! We haven’t been in business that long (haha).
Can I substitute refined white sugar with maple syrup?
Use one for one. So if a recipe calls for 1 cup of white sugar, then use 1 cup of pure maple syrup. Then, reduce the liquid in the recipe by 3 Tablespoons for each cup of syrup used. This will add minerals and anti-oxidants to your recipes - not to mention a much better flavor than white table sugar! Better yet, buy our maple sugar and trade tsp for tsp and make your life easier.
When is the maple season?
The maple season lasts from mid-February to mid-April. A good maple season has many warm days followed by nights that dip below freezing. The season is over as the sugar maples bud. In Vermont, we call this t-shirt weather during the day, and winter coats at night!
Storage: Do you need to refrigerate maple syrup once opened?
YES. Once the container is open, maple syrup should be refrigerated. Once in contact with air, mold could develop if the product is not refrigerated. Keeping your maple refrigerated also reduces evaporation… or if you’re like us… just use the syrup fast enough and you don’t need to worry about it getting mold!
Is one syrup class better than another?
No. The classes are not graded according to quality. Grade A syrup is divided into 4 classes, each with its own intensity of maple flavor, as well as its own special characteristics and applications. All syrup sold at retail is Grade A syrup, while Grade A Very Dark/Strong syrup is used mostly as a food ingredient. Consult the maple syrup grades for more info.
Can we come see your farm?
We love visitors during Christmas when the tree farm is open for choose and cut! Outside of Christmas Tree season, we’re hard to pin down. We’re pretty consistently on the move and working in various sugarbushes. Feel free to contact us to ask! When we’re home, we’re happy to show people around the place.
How many employees do you have?
We have FOUR employees. Three fulltime and one part-time. The team consists of Nick Lussier, Owner, Emma Jean, Branch Manager, Tuuka the Tank, security. Nick's wife, Stephanie Lussier, works part-time. The entire team has many important jobs.
How many taps do you have?
We have approximately 2500 taps. We tried 16,000 once… and it wasn’t for us. We like our small-batch wood fired syrup and that’s where we’ll stay! This means, you’ll always get high-quality, delicious syrup from us at Maple Hill Farm Barton Vermont!