March is maple tapping month. I had found out about Turtle Lane Maple Farm on the internet and was determined to visit while Alastair and I were here. This place is close by and gives free tours and demonstrations in their sugaring house.
I woke up to snow covering everything and worried that the weather would continue to get worse.
Thankfully, it didn’t snow for long, the sun came out and we were on our way with my niece Aly. The sugar house is basically a shack behind someone’s house in a residential area of North Andover.
Steam was pouring out of the roof and the smell of sugar was in the air. Inside, it was like being in a steam room while the sap boiled away.
The tour explained everything one needed to know from tapping maple trees for sap and through the very complex and involved process of making maple syrup out of it. They gave us samples to taste the watery but sweet sap, the liquid at mid-boil, and the final product of syrup. After achieving the syrup, the cooking process can continue on to obtain other products such as maple cream, maple candy or maple sugar, all from just one ingredient, maple sap (and all equally delicious).
The period of the season that the sap is collected will determine the amount of maple flavor that the syrup attains and its grade.
I felt like I was on a school field trip, but the three of us had a great time and would certainly recommend visiting Turtle Lane Maple Farm in the month of March to anyone who wanted to learn more about maple syrup.
We left with quite a few treats in tow to share with the rest of the family :)