One Quart of Maple Syrup made the old fashioned way in the foothills of the Berkshires
Countryside Farm is located in the small beautiful town of Ashfield Massachusetts and is run by the family of Tom, Pam and Cody Clark.
When Cody was 10 years old he started making maple syrup on an outside fireplace, he fell in love with sugaring and has improved the operation every year. Recently he built a sugarhouse and now makes a few hundred gallons of maple syrup in a year. Sugaring is truly in his blood.
In late February or early March the process begins. Maple trees are tapped and a bucket is hung on a spout. It takes freezing nights and warm days for the sap to run freely. In the beginning snowshoes are often needed as the snow can be very deep. When sap is ready to be gathered you must go from tree to tree and empty each bucket into a larger pail that is carried to the gathering tank. It takes a lot of work along with help from both family and friends. Cody’s cousin Nick and his dad Tim often help with gathering sap.
After the sap is gathered it is taken to the sugarhouse and transferred to a storage tank passing through a strainer on the way. The sap then goes to the evaporator. The evaporator is an arch with special stainless steel pans designed for boiling sap. There’s a very hot fire in the arch where the sap is boiled. During boiling lots of steam comes off and goes out the cupola in the roof of the sugarhouse. It takes forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup. Once the syrup reaches its proper density it’s then filtered and canned into various sized jugs.
Your imagination is the limit for uses of maple syrup. It's a perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, french toast, ice cream and yogurt. It's excellent when added to your glazes such as on ham, chicken, salmon or broiled scallops and also makes a great sweetener in your baked beans or butternut squash. Our Family loves to sauté bananas in maple syrup, yum!
Making maple syrup is a wonderful New England tradition. We at Countryside Farm take great pride in our maple syrup and love to make it. There are no additives or preservatives, just mother natures' blessing and lots of good old fashioned hard work to make 100% Pure Maple Syrup.