Time Out Chicago magazine visits the earliest producer of maple syrup in the U.S. - Burton's Maplewood Farm in Medora, Indiana.
Maple syrup season (“the sugar season”) begins in Medora, Indiana, earlier than anywhere else in the world. “What we’re looking for is cold [below freezing] nights and warm [above freezing] days.” Those nights can begin as early as the third week in January.
Taps are attached to the 700 trees on the farm (“sugarbush”). Taps are entered only an inch and a half into the tree, since sap runs only in the trees’ cambium layer, between the bark and the hardwood.
Each bucket will collect 10 gallons of sap in one season.
The sap is nothing like maple syrup—it’s thin and clear as water, and only vaguely sweet (2% sugar). Ir is fed into the Volcano 2000—the evaporating machine - reducing the sap to 1/40 of its density — it takes 40 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of syrup.
Making maple syrup - Eating - Time Out Chicago Kids.