Antrim County Maple Farm Preps for Syrup Season
It’s that time of year again where maple farms are looking for the perfect time to tap their trees for sap and make some delicious maple syrup.
Joe Woods has owned Out of the Woods Farm in Antrim County since 1991.
“We are the first crop of the year,” Woods said. “Although asparagus thinks they are, we beat them out by a couple of months.”
And it’s around this time of the year that he starts checking trees to be tapped for sap.
“If you can get a 20 degree night and a 40 degree day, especially if the sun comes out, you will have a good run,” said Woods.
It’s not an exact science when it comes to the weather. It varies from year to year when he can start seeing sap from his trees.
“We have started as late as March 24, and on some years, we have finished at approximately the same time,” he said. “It just depends on the year, what February looks like, what March looks like.”
Woods produces 600 to 800 gallons of syrup each year, and taps thousands of trees on his property.
“This year we’re down a little bit for the reasons that we’ve been lumbering off some and we just can’t get back to certain trees right now,” he said.
Woods uses a line system that extracts the sap, which then moves to their evaporator
“It eliminates the water, and it also gives you the caramelization of the syrup and that gives you your color and gives you a lot of your flavors that we associate with maple syrup,” he said.
Once the sap has been boiled, the possibilities for the product are endless.
“We can make it in to syrup, we can also make it into a sugar, a candy or a cream.”
And Woods says the maple sap—turned syrup—can actually be a healthy alternative.
“They are buying a product that is all natural and that has a lot of health benefits,” he said, “It isn’t processed any more than just a boiling process.”