Maple syrup is a common kitchen ingredient that is served with pancakes and waffles but there are people who don’t actually know how the sweet, golden brown liquid is made.
Maple syrup is made from the sap of a sugar maple tree that is collected and boiled down into the sticky liquid we enjoy. There are only a few weeks each year when these trees can be tapped which is when temperatures are in the 20s at night and reach 40°F-50°F during the day. To collect the sap, a tap must be inserted in the trunk of the tree, then the watery sap drips into a bucket. The sap will flow freely when the conditions are right, and collecting sap demands persistent attention.
Once the sap is collected it can be made into maple syrup simply by boiling the sap down into a syrup once the boiling liquid reaches 219°F. Once it reaches 219°F it is filtered and bottled.
Two of the farms in Mansfield ,CT where local Connecticut maple syrup is sold are the Varga Family Farm and Bailey’s Maple Syrup and Honey. You can also find local syrup at Mansfield Supply, Lisa’s Chocolates, G.M. Thompson & Sons, the Storrs Farmers’ Market and at Stearns Farm Stand.
Contributed by Margaret Prosperie, Storrs Regional FFA Student, Edwin O. Smith High School working with the Mansfield Agriculture Committee
Quinn Hope, Junior. Storrs Regional FFA & Plant Science Student in UCONN ECE Fundamentals of Horticulture Course