Slow start to maple syrup season

22News spoke with farmers about the slow start to maple syrup season

SHELBURNE, Mass. (WWLP)- It’s too cold for the sap to flow, putting a freeze on maple syrup production.

Gould’s Sugar-House says it’s a slow start, but they are prepared for when the trees thaw out. More than 6,000 buckets to collect the sap remain in their storage when they would have normally been hung up this week.

Larry Gould told 22News, “Probably about a week behind right now with this cold weather. When it gets to 12 below zero there’s not much point in starting too early.”The piping linking hundreds of trees has been strung up, but several days of 35 to 40 degree weather with just a slight freeze at night are needed for the sap to begin to flow and for the trees to be tapped.

“It’s going to take about 40 gallons of raw sap to make one gallon of syrup. So if we have a good year we will burn between 80 and 90 cord of wood in the evaporator to boil down the sap,” Larry Gould said.  The payoff is the golden brown or dark and thick syrup you pour over your pancakes and waffles, and an assortment of other maple treats.

Leonard Gould told 22News that production varies on a year to year basis, “Some years we don’t start until March. Some years you start early in the year. All depends on mother nature.”

The Goulds said they will know the first of April whether it is a good season or not.

The restaurant at Gould’s Sugar-house will be open this Saturday, February 28th.

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