Posted in History

Enjoying Real Maple Syrup at Stratford Woods

Saturday we went to Stratford Woods for a maple syrup event. They were serving organic, whole wheat pancakes with real locally made maple syrup, farm-fresh sausage and coffee. Delicious!

Real maple syrup, pancakes and sausage
Real maple syrup, pancakes and sausage





After breakfast, we took a walk through the site to see how maple syrup is made. Throughout the property, maple trees had been tapped and white plastic buckets mounted to collect the tree sap.

A bucket collecting sap on the edge of a bluff
A bucket collecting sap on the edge of a bluff
Buckets collecting sap near a field
Buckets collecting sap near a field

Farther down the trail, we came to the “sugar shack”. Buckets full of sap were collected from the maple trees. Next the maple sap was filtered to remove impurities and debris. Then it was added to a maple syrup evaporator. The evaporator was heated with a wood burning fire. Maple sap was added at one end. The sap gently flow towards the other end due to a slight slope, the sap boiling and becoming more concentrated in the process.

Sugar shack where water is evaporated from the sap to make syrup
Sugar shack where water is evaporated from the sap to make syrup
Firewood to fuel the evaporator
Firewood to fuel the evaporator

Periodically a sample of the maple syrup is pulled from the evaporator and the maple sugar content is measured with a floating instrument called a hydrometer. The operator uses the hydrometer to see how much of the sap is sugar. When the sap is collected from a tree, it is only 1 to 2% sugar. It’s necessary to evaporate most of the water away to make syrup. Once the liquid is 67% sugar, it’s officially maple syrup — time to bottle it and pour over pancakes.

Explaining how the evaporator works
Explaining how the evaporator works
Using a hydrometer to determine how much of the liquid is sugar.
Using a hydrometer to determine how much of the liquid is sugar.

Maple syrup events occur throughout the state from about mid-February through the end of March. At the beginning of February, we update our article, Ohio Maple Syrup Events, so that it lists the events being held that year.




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© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2012 to 2017


11 thoughts on “Enjoying Real Maple Syrup at Stratford Woods

    1. It was delicious! And it was fun going for a stroll on the property. Besides checking out the sugar maple operations, we got to see the baby lambs and other farm animals. I’m probably going to post about that later today.

      BTW your comment was the 1000th comment posted at our blog. 😀

  1. I enjoy all the extra details and information along with the wonderful photographs. Do you know is this will be a good year for Ohio maple syrup production?

    Patricia

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