There are 17 states and provinces that produce maple syrup, and we work with over 500 producers across these regions. We invite you to take a peek at how our crew on Butternut Mountain transforms sap into maple syrup!
The process moves through a series of steps that starts in the woods and ends in the sugarhouse. The producers with whom Butternut Mountain Farm works collectively tap more than one and half million maple trees annually. It is a four-step process:
Vermont’s abundance of sugar maples makes the state the largest producer of maple in the country. Ongoing management of the forest is essential for maple syrup production. In the summer months the crew thins and removes diseased trees from around the maple trees to improve tree health, tree hole healing rates, and sap production. Maintenance is performed on our tubing system and any updates needed are made. Work on the road network is also conducted. Managing biodiversity throughout each season is a priority.
As the days warm up and the nights stay cold, sap is collected through a system of tubing and pipeline. Our farm alone has nearly 30,000 tapped trees.
Tapping is a labor-intensive process requiring drilling a tiny hole into each tree, and then tapping a spout ever so gently into that hole. Determining when the first good run will happen is where the magic (or guess work!) happens. We don’t want to tap too early because the tap hole will eventually dry out and , stop running prematurely; too late and we’ve shortened an already short season and diminished our supply of sap.
On average, it takes about 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. Before sap is boiled, it is processed through reverse osmosis (RO). This removes most of the water which makes boiling sap into syrup more efficient. The evaporator concentrates and caramelizes the sugars, producing that subtle and delicious maple flavor. Sap has between 1.5% and 3.0% sugar content and officially becomes maple syrup when it reaches a density of 66.9 Brix (a system that measures sugar content).
Syrup from the evaporator is hot filtered and pumped into bulk drums or retail containers. Following exacting production standards, we track every barrel with rigorous quality control and state-of-the-art supply logistics to ensure we deliver the best maple syrup possible to our customers each and every day of the year.
Maple is more than just a topping. This versatile ingredient shines in baked goods, swirled into oatmeal, and as a sweetener in batches of granola. Its ability to be a natural sweetener and flavor enhancer make the possibilities of cooking with maple endless.