asakiyume: (cloud snow)
[personal profile] asakiyume
I subscribed to a local newspaper, a physical paper that comes to the house, for the first time ever, and it's a decision that delights me. Even the ads delight me. If it weren't for the ads, I wouldn't have found out about a place nearby called the Strawbale Café (built with straw bales, but then plastered over), which, at this time of year, makes its own maple syrup.

We went for a visit this past weekend.

The bottom part of their evaporator dates from 1959.

boiling maple sap, Westhampton, MA

Here is the main line, reaching up into the sugarbush. (Isn't that a great name for a stand of sugar maples?)

main lines from sugarbush

And here you can just about see the much thinner piping that goes to each tree. In the past, people would collect sap in buckets and then carry it somewhere to boil it down, but now they generally use piping like this.

side lines connecting individual trees

When I used to tap maple trees, I gathered the sap in old milk jugs:

jug full of maple sap

But back to the present: This apparatus pumps water back up the line at the end of the season to clean the lines and (somehow) help seal things off (I didn't really understand that part).

pump and lines coming in from sugarbush

And here are the sap storage tanks.

tanks for storing sap

Last but not least, inside the Strawbale Café, where everyone was enjoying fresh maple syrup on pancakes, and the manager was urging people to come back in the summer, when they have a much more extensive menu.

Strawbale Cafe, Westhampton, MA

Date: 2019-03-06 01:23 am (UTC)
minoanmiss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] minoanmiss
that sounds so awesome.

Date: 2019-03-06 06:41 am (UTC)
minoanmiss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] minoanmiss

You KNOW I must ask how it was making your own maple syrup. :)

Date: 2019-03-06 04:49 pm (UTC)
minoanmiss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] minoanmiss

reads and is fascinated Thank you for telling me! This is just so vivid and must have made you feel connected to thousands of years of tradition.

Date: 2019-03-06 02:25 am (UTC)
osprey_archer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] osprey_archer
This is so cool! I've always wanted to see an actual sugaring off! Do they do their own maple sugar candies too, or just syrup?

Date: 2019-03-06 02:41 am (UTC)
rachelmanija: (Autumn: small leaves)
From: [personal profile] rachelmanija
Wait, you tapped maple trees? Did you make your own syrup? Did you ever taste the pre-syrup sap?

Date: 2019-03-06 12:02 pm (UTC)
amaebi: black fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
Cool!

Date: 2019-03-06 12:27 pm (UTC)
mallorys_camera: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mallorys_camera
INCREDIBLY cool!!! :-)

Date: 2019-03-06 01:42 pm (UTC)
amaebi: black fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaebi
That looks like apex glamour to me.

Date: 2019-03-06 01:55 pm (UTC)
cmcmck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck
What a wonderfully 'ramshackle' process! :o)

Date: 2019-03-06 02:07 pm (UTC)
lizziebelle: (little me)
From: [personal profile] lizziebelle
How fun! I should find a sugaring place around here. We went to one on a field trip when I was in third grade. I remember tasting the sap and syrup out of little paper cups, and crunching through the snow to see the buckets on the trees.

Date: 2019-03-06 07:51 pm (UTC)
evelyn_b: (Default)
From: [personal profile] evelyn_b
I love local newspapers! I've just started reading them this year (at the library; my love doesn't yet extend to being able to commit to getting one every week) and it's been an experience. They're so different from one another - and it's a delight, as you say, to find out all about local happenings.

Best of luck to Strawbale Cafe and their trees. It looks like a perfect place to get breakfast.

Date: 2019-03-10 03:21 pm (UTC)
wayfaringwordhack: (art - guitton housework)
From: [personal profile] wayfaringwordhack
What a delightful place and concept. Piping is not very pittoresque, but it is a lot warmer and convenient for sure. :P

Date: 2019-03-12 08:52 pm (UTC)
st_martin_a: (Default)
From: [personal profile] st_martin_a
That looks like a fair bit of snow!

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