About Our Products
The Missing Ingredient for a Delicious Meal
The Maple Syrup Process
Each year we prepare for maple season at the start of the New Year. Grandpa Marshall, 88 years young has worked hard throughout the previous year to cut, split, and stack all the sugar camp wood we need to fuel the evaporator. Doug, Ben, Mark, Jill, and Patrick are all out in the woods checking out thousands of feet of sap tubing. They check for down trees, limbs, and squirrel damage while doing other needed repairs on the lines in preparation of the highly anticipated maple season. We are currently setting up a new installation of tubing lines, north of the farm, due to our increased demand for maple syrup and products. During this same time we purchase our seeds that await spring planting.
Around February 14th or later is tapping time for maple syrup production. The ideal weather for maple syrup runs is warm sunny days and cold frosty nights. When tapping time comes Grandpa Marshall prepares for the season by servicing the gas powered tappers, transfer pumps, gives the tractor an oil change and puts the gathering tanks on trailers all ready for Doug, family, and friends to tap for the season.
Once the sap starts flowing we venture out into the woods to gather the sap with the tractor and trailer. See us in action on YouTube on Our Ohio. Once the sap is gathered and brought back to the sugar house we begin to process sap into great tasting maple syrup. The sap is filtered as it travels into our stainless steel bulk tank. From the bulk tank the sap water begins its journey around two percent sugar content and heads into our reverse osmosis where seventy five percent of the water is separated to increase the sugar content to eight percent or more. This creates a super sweet concentrate which results in cutting our boiling time by almost seventy five percent! By using a reverse osmosis (RO) we become better stewards of our natural resources, it cuts down on electric use, the amount of wood to boil the syrup, and helps with labor costs by decreasing work time and overall makes us more efficient.
Once the sap is concentrated, it gets pumped up to our feeding tank that is linked to our float system of the evaporator where it is boiled down to 66 percent concentrate and now becomes pure maple syrup. Then it is drawn off the evaporator and sent through a filter press where the unwanted sugar sand and minerals produced by the syrup is filtered out. Once filtered it is pumped into a canning unit and is immediately hot packed into new maple jugs. Then the jugs are labeled, coded and ready for you to take home and enjoy. But not before Doug, the official taste tester, puts his stamp of approval on it but sometimes he allows one of his grandchildren or great nieces or nephews to be the new official taste testers, so he can train up the next generation of producers.
Golden Maple Syrup-The lightest grade, we typically use to make our maple sugar candy and cream.
Amber Maple Syrup-This is our most popular flavor due to its rich taste.
Dark Maple Syrup-This grade has a robust flavor and is Papa Fitch’s favorite sweetener for his morning coffee as well as his oatmeal. This grade is perfect for baking with its full maple flavor.
Very Dark Maple Syrup-This grade used to be known as Grade “B” syrup. It has a very strong maple taste, also great for cooking and brings out the best maple flavor in your recipes. Example, dump it on your ham before or during baking for a delicious maple baked ham! And for a special treat use the ham dripping to make a sweet gravy.
For more information on the maple syrup grades check of the International Maple Syrup Institute Flyer.