Season Update #2: Drills blazing, open house weekends canceled except Maine's

Peter Gregg | January 27, 2021

CHERRY VALLEY, N.Y.—Drills are blazing.

Across the Maple Belt sugarmakers were getting taps in hoping to catch an early thaw.

“We got 6,000 in and we're ready,” said Ken Chase of Ern-Joy Farm in Cherry Valley, N.Y.

Chase had been tapping for three weeks straight, saying he learned a lesson three years ago when he waited to tap and missed out on some January runs. Last year he was tapped by mid January and it paid off. He made 110 gallons of January syrup.

The forecast for the remainder of January doesn’t indicate any such luck this year. Still, Chase feels he did the right thing.

“At some point it’s gonna thaw and we’ll be ready,” Chase said. MORE ]


Meet the Brix Balancer. New D&G machine balances the density

Peter Gregg | December 15, 2020

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—Meet the Brix Balancer.

Ever had to add permeate to a barrel of syrup because your brix was too high?

Last season researchers at Cornell's Uihlein Maple Research Center had an opportunity to demo a Brix Equalizer by Dominion and Grimm.

The innovative unit has a digital in-line brix meter that measures the finished brix of syrup after being drawn-off and filtered, but before being packed into a barrel.

A digital touch panel screen allows the user to set the desired brix level and if the unit reads a brix higher than the set point, it will inject a little permeate water from a small tank on the machine.



Finding Home Farms wins national award

Peter Gregg | December 8, 2020

GREENVILLE, N.Y.—A New York sugarhouse won a national award for its innovative rye barrel syrup.

Finding Home Farms, owned by Dana and Laura Putnam, won the Product of the Year from the Specialty Food Association’s 2020 Sofi Awards.

The rye barrel aged maple syrup was chosen in a blind taste test, selected by a panel of specialty food experts from nearly 2,000 entries across 39 product categories. This product is made in collaboration with Orange County Distillery, a farm distillery based in Orange County N.Y. MORE ]


Got 'sick' syrup? Find out why

Peter Gregg | November 26, 2020

WESTFORD, Vt.—Got sick syrup? Find out why.

The Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association will be conducting a virtual diagnostic on submitted syrup, helping sugarmakers identify bad syrup and its causes.

The online session is called “Tele-Maple Medicine: Why Does My Syrup Taste Sick” and part of the weeklong 2020 Maple Conference Week Dec. 6 through Dec. 11 hosted by the VMSMA and the experts from the University of Vermont maple program.

The VMSMA has been seeking two ounce samples of off-flavor syrup and panelists will create a live show, tasting and diagnosing the issue. MORE ]


Branon Family Maple Orchards unveils pouch packaging

Peter Gregg | November 17, 2020

FAIRFIELD, Vt.—Branon Family Maple Orchards is the latest operation to come out with pouch packaging.

Called “Maple to Go!” the family farm says the new packaging system “allows maple lovers to bring pure Vermont maple syrup along with them wherever and whenever they travel.”

“We had people tell us they wanted to bring our maple syrup with them whenever they went someplace, but they couldn’t justify lugging a pint jug around,” said Cecile Branon, co-owner of 80,000-tap Branon Family Maple Orchards located in Fairfield, Vt.

Maple to Go! is a 3.4-ounce (100 ml) food-grade pouch of organic Grade A amber/rich Vermont maple syrup with a re-closable, no-mess twist cap that allows for multiple usage. MORE ]


Leader Evaporator and H20 Innovation partner up

Peter Gregg | November 11, 2020

MASON, Mich.—Leader Evaporator Co. and H20 Innovation will start carrying each other’s equipment at their respective U.S. dealerships.

“It’s an exciting opportunity,” said Leader’s chairwoman Mary Fogle Douglass, owner of Sugar Bush Supplies in Mason, Mich., a major Leader dealer.

Douglass hosted her annual fall open house virtually on Oct. 24, where she made the H20 announcement.

“We thought about what things we are missing and how people can get it quickly,” Douglass said.

Some of the big ticket items that Leader dealers will start carrying are H20’s line of large size tanks.

“They have a huge line,” Douglass said.



And then there were none... Last of the winter maple shows canceled

Peter Gregg | October 29, 2020

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—And then there were none.

The last remaining scheduled winter maple shows have now been canceled.

The 2021 New York Winter Maple Conference has become the latest maple event to succumb to the COVID -19 virus. Also canceled this week, the Wisconsin Winter Institute hosted by the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association.

The WMSPA will instead be hosting a virtual edition of the event, with a large agenda of educational seminars via Zoom. MORE ]


‘Tree Water’ company looking for permeate suppliers

Deborah Jeanne Sergeant | October 28, 2020

KATONAH, N.Y.—Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water is looking for more permeate.

The three-year-old water company has landed a deal with beverage giant Anheuser-Busch and is looking to add to its maple permeate supply base, said company founder Adam Lazar.

Asarasi has also collaborated with Goose Island Brewery producing the world's first 100% plant-based beer called Tree Water Pilsner with Anheuser Busch and the product sold out in under a week, Lazar said.

"This opportunity continues to lead to more significant volume sourcing and we are excited to bring this opportunity to all New York State Maple Producers," he said.

Asarasi said it is looking for permeate suppliers of 5,000+ gallons in any given maple season, Lazar said.

Interested producers can check out supplying opportunities at PASSWORD: PERMEATE MORE ]