ASHFORD, CT (WFSB) – Warmer days and cold nights has kicked off the maple syrup making season early this year.

The weather is perfect for maple sugaring season.

Bill Proulx, owner of the River Edge Sugar House in Ashford, has been making maple syrup for 27 years.

There are 900 taps constantly dripping into a maze of plastic piping stretched out on a picturesque wooded hillside in Ashford.

Freezing temperatures at night and near 40-degree days are Mother Nature’s recipe for creating sap. Sap that Proulx will haul into his sugar shack and boil down to make golden, sweet maple syrup.

“It’s a real nice light syrup right here,” Proulx said. “We just boil that sap down until we get to the proper density, which may take 50 to 60 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup, and the final product like that is completely natural.”

A lot of science and timing goes into the process too. The season is short, only six to eight weeks, but thanks to a new high-tech efficient evaporator, they’ll be able to boil twice as much sap at a faster rate saving them time and creating more syrup.

“My previous evaporator was about 100 gallons per hour, so it’s about twice as quick. There are air injectors, the wood is used up more efficiently and the gases are re-burned,” Proulx said.

Every five minutes, the fire has to be stoked to keep it hot.

The sugar house will burn about 15 cord of wood over the next several weeks, creating a sweet product. A product that customers visiting the shack take home, to not just practically every state, but every country around the globe.

For a maple sugar farmer who started off in 1993 with a lasagna pan and a few tapped trees, River Edge has come a long way thanks to technology and a modern wood burning evaporator.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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