Fogle's Dream Trip travel blog

Bragg Farm Sugarhouse

Sap buckets

Sap cooker

We made it to Vermont. We came thru the lower western corner heading north to central area. That lower area is know as the Green Tree mountains and boy were they right. Trees were turning so much and areas were really pretty. Of course, we didn't have camera up front with us but will get some tomorrow when we go to Ben & Jerry's company and the chocolate factory. Don't you wish you could go with us?

We went to Bragg Farm Sugarhouse this afternoon. They have been making maple syrup for 8 generations. Said they have 50 acres of maple trees that get the sap from to make their syrup. And they hand the buckets all by hand. They have to drill a hole in the tree and put in a plug so that it will drain out and the time to do this is March - snow is still on the ground. Must be hard for sure, can't imagine how many trees would be on 50 acres. Said the tree has to be at least as large as the bucket is round which looked to be about 16" which would make the tree about 40 years old. She said some of the trees could be 400 years old and that was a wild though to think it was older than the pilgrims got here. She told us that it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gal of syrup along with 60 gals of water that evaporates off in the cooking process. Some trees they can put more than 1 plug - depending on size of tree. Trees heal themselves when they take the plug out after sap stops running which is usually May. Best time for sap to run is when it freezes at night and thaws during the day hours. I can't imagine carrying the buckets, plugs and drill around 50 acres of trees. They cook the sap by wood fire. Said some places were using oil and electricity to do it but they preferred to do it the way it has been done for generations. Would have loved to have seen how they did the plugs and sap running. It is clear in color and not real sticky, somewhat sweet. Said it's thickness was like water. The color of the syrup depends on the quality of sap, and how long cooked. No waste in making the syrup as it all cooks. Had taster bottles out and it was gooooood stuff. Harvey had maple ice cream. Had a little too much maple taste for me, prefer it over pancakes. Harvey was surprised to learn that Mrs Butterworth's syrup doesn't have any maple syrup in it at all and that's his favorite syrup. Most of them don't have it so don't always know the good stuff. Think it will be hard to use the other stuff now. LOL

More to follow tomorrow at Ben & Jerrys factory and the chocolate factory. There are some covered bridges around here too so want to try to find them before football game tomorrow.

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