Page 27 - The Valley Table - January/February 2021
P. 27

 DRIP, DRIP, DRIP... the sweet sound of sap plopping into buckets is the first sign that late winter may soon melt into spring. Each year, Hudson Valley maple farms tap their trees to harvest sap, which will be boiled into precious maple syrup.
“In recent years the season has been unpredictable, usually the beginning of February through the end of March. Weather depending, it may be as early as mid-January and may continue into mid-April,” says Mark Soukup, farm manager at Soukup Farm in Dover Plains. The maple-and-hay farm, established by
Soukup’sgrandparents,Albertand Olive, began sugaring as a hobby in 1955. Today, it has more than 3,000 taps that produce roughly 75,000 to 100,000 gallons of sap — enough to produce just 1,000 to 1,500 gallons of pure, New York maple syrup.
It’s a big effort with a big payoff. “The Hudson Valley has an abundance of sugar maple trees and near ideal climate for maple production,” says Soukup. “The region produces very delicate
and smooth-tasting syrup, almost buttery.” Now, where can we get some pancakes?
by samantha garbarini
 photos by michael bloom (left), by charlotte collins (pancakes), by richard a. smith (bottles), courtesy of platte creek maple farm (cabin)
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