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maple syrup season

I subscribed to a local newspaper, a physical paper that comes to the house, for the first time ever, and it's a decision that delights me. Even the ads delight me. If it weren't for the ads, I wouldn't have found out about a place nearby called the Strawbale Café (built with straw bales, but then plastered over), which, at this time of year, makes its own maple syrup.

We went for a visit this past weekend.

The bottom part of their evaporator dates from 1959.

boiling maple sap, Westhampton, MA

Here is the main line, reaching up into the sugarbush. (Isn't that a great name for a stand of sugar maples?)

main lines from sugarbush

And here you can just about see the much thinner piping that goes to each tree. In the past, people would collect sap in buckets and then carry it somewhere to boil it down, but now they generally use piping like this.

side lines connecting individual trees

When I used to tap maple trees, I gathered the sap in old milk jugs:

jug full of maple sap

But back to the present: This apparatus pumps water back up the line at the end of the season to clean the lines and (somehow) help seal things off (I didn't really understand that part).

pump and lines coming in from sugarbush

And here are the sap storage tanks.

tanks for storing sap

Last but not least, inside the Strawbale Café, where everyone was enjoying fresh maple syrup on pancakes, and the manager was urging people to come back in the summer, when they have a much more extensive menu.

Strawbale Cafe, Westhampton, MA

This entry was originally posted at https://asakiyume.dreamwidth.org/907771.html. Comments are welcome at either location.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2019 05:25 am (UTC)
It reminds me of the furnace from Home Alone.
Mar. 6th, 2019 07:06 am (UTC)
It's been years since I saw that movie! But I'm sure you're right.
Mar. 6th, 2019 05:30 am (UTC)

My next visit, we are TOTALLY going there!
Mar. 6th, 2019 10:22 am (UTC)
I also date from 1959, so we're obviously twin souls, that evaporator and I. And neither one of us is fond of the suggestion that we might be in any way old. *frowns mightily in your direction*
Mar. 6th, 2019 02:35 pm (UTC)
I date from just four years later, so I'm silently including myself in that designation, but you're right: "still going strong" or "in the prime of life" would show better mental hygiene ;-)
Mar. 6th, 2019 12:10 pm (UTC)
What an amazing place. It's like a milking parlour for trees with very long pipes between the "herd" and the milking parlour. Local papers are great for publicising small businesses.
Mar. 6th, 2019 02:35 pm (UTC)
What a fabulous simile! It **is** like a milking parlour for trees. What a great way of putting it!
Mar. 6th, 2019 06:06 pm (UTC)
Maple syrup pipelines! This is awesome.

Thank you!
Mar. 8th, 2019 07:01 am (UTC)
Much much nicer than pipelines full of crude oil!

You're very welcome!
Mar. 8th, 2019 01:14 am (UTC)
Never had seen how maple syrup was made. So cool...
Mar. 8th, 2019 07:02 am (UTC)
If you get a chance to go out to someplace that's boiling up maple sap--a "sugar shack," they often call it--I recommend it. It's a wonderful experience!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )



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