Harvesting Maple Syrup Is a Surprisingly High-Tech Process
This is how it's done
When you think about maple syrup, you may envision a bucket hanging from a maple tree (and lots and lots of time). However, it's 2017, and even maple syrup harvesting has been influenced by good ol' technology. In an episode of Stereokroma posted to YouTube earlier this month, we get a glimpse of the inner-workings of Canada's Garland Sugar Shack to see how the Garland family makes maple syrup on their century-old farm. And no, making the good ol' pancake stuff isn't as archaic as you'd imagine. The family has been modernizing their process, and while they have 4,200 taps to collect maple sap now, they're working their way up to 10,000.
Though the traditional way to do it involves buckets, it ended up being quite time-consuming once the Garland family had hundreds of buckets. After all, they had to collect the sap from the buckets once or twice a day. That’s when they decided to go more modern with pipelines and vacuum systems to send the sap to a storage tank. It's also a friendlier way to tap the trees and doesn't cause as much damage.
The Garland family, whose farm is located in Eastern Ontario near Ottawa, boils the collected sap to a thick syrup and refines it. However, it's a tricky process, as a lot of the sap carries "natural, gritty sands that needs to be filtered out," according to the video's YouTube description.
“How long does the process take? Well, we were there for about 16 hours to film, and Ivan was still working hard after we left at 1:30am on the same batch,” reads the Stereokroma description. “Although the concept of the process is simple, it is hard-work requiring plenty of supervision and technical knowledge.”