I first met Rick in our Farmington Valley BNI group and has a great sense of humor. He owns and operates Red Oak Landscape of Canton and has a Maple Syrup Farm. Rick and I worked together to create these images, and I got an extensive lesson on sugar maple trees and the refining process.
To purchase pure Connecticut maple syrup call Rick at 860.693.6340.
First you have to know which trees are the sugar maples! The sugar maples have an amber colored bud where the red maples have a red bud.
The taps for the sap have to be done every year. There are three holes in this tree, the current hole with the tap, the 2nd, which is a visible hole and the third is a healed hole.
Once the taps are in, the lines have to be strung and let the weather and gravity do the work! Barbourtown Sugar Farm has 600 taps on 3 properties.
Maple sap is clear and looks like water when it’s collecting into the tanks.
Once the sugar is collected into the tanks on the land, Rick will go out and collect the sap and pump it into a tank on his truck and bring it back to the shop to evaporate it. Then it’s pumped from the truck into the shop.The evaporator is powered by wood and a TON of wood at that. They use pine since it burns so hot that they don’t have issues with creosote buildup like we would if we burned it in our fireplaces. The stack will get up to 800-900 degrees fahrenheit.
Who knows the ratio of sap to syrup? It takes about 38-40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup!
Once the syrup is heated to 219 degrees and bubbling in the evaporator is needs to be drained through paper filters.The syrup is then taken from the filter tank and poured into the final tank where it’s heated to over 200 degrees and tested with a barometer to make sure it’s ready to go.
The final capping happens when the syrup is turned over and it creates the seal. Now you have yourself some amazing maple syrup! I use Barbourtown Sugar Farm Maple Syrup in my apples pies and it’s amazing! Check back in a couple days for the recipe and some photos!