[vermont] Maple Open House Weekend

Went to visit Johnson Family Sugarhouse and their brand new facilities in Chelsea, VT this past weekend with my sister. It's only a couple towns north of my house. Unfortunately they weren't boiling but we got to see their massive equipment.

The wood fired boiler:


If I remember, I think they can produce two barrels of syrup a day, or 600 gallons. That sounds like so much but they have help from this:

Reverse Osmosis Machine

A reverse osmosis machine that is easily 4 times the size of the first one I saw two years ago. You use it to take out most of the water from the sap and you boil what remains- it's faster and saves so much fuel, which is especially important when your fuel is wood.

I wasn't sure how the sugaring season has been so far and the answer is- it hasn't really started yet. So far this spring, we've only had a handful of nice, warm days. Ideal sugaring weather is 20F at night and > 40F during the day- that's ideal for sap to run. We're just not there yet. The season could still be good or over in the blink of an eye.

Before leaving, we were invited to stop by whenever we happen to be by and see steam coming out the chimney- that means they're boiling. Maybe I will. But just in case, I'll stock up on some syrup before leaving:

Liquid gold. Visited a sugar house today and sampled a shot of warm, fresh syrup. And replenished my maple reserves for home.

I'm pretty sure that's what my perfect pantry would look like, but I just bought a couple bottles. I'll be back for more.

1 comment:

Rita said...

We lived in mid-MI for many years. Near our town there was a nature center that collected sap and boiled it down into syrup. I went there for field trips with my kids. It was a fun field trip and we learned a lot.

I really loved the maple candy they made and molded into a maple leaf shape. Good stuff and good memories.