See how maple syrup is made in Manalapan
Happy Day Farms in Manalapan will be offering the Sugar Shack Tours: From Sap to Syrup, where you can learn how local maple syrup is made. This outdoor winter experience allows you to get to know local Farmer Tim and assist him in the tapping process.
I spoke with Farmer Tim about the experience at Happy Day Farms:
Why is maple sugaring special?
"Maple sugaring is special because it is an outdoor, educational experience where families will learn about the work involved to produce one bottle of maple syrup.
"As a farmer, I feel it is important for consumers to know where their food comes from. This event allows me to engage and educate farm fans to know the health benefits of pure vs. imitation maple syrup. Our 100% pure maple syrup contains no artificial ingredients and is made from concentrating sap of the sugar maple tree.
"This event is special because maple sugaring is commonly known to take place in Vermont and guests are always surprised at the fact that they can enjoy that same sweet syrup made by their local farmer in New Jersey."
What can visitors expect?
"Attendees can expect to take a tractor ride to our sugar bush where they will walk a short, tree-lined path of maple trees. They will observe our tubing lines, learn about the different varieties of maple trees, methods of tapping trees as well as sample sap water and fresh maple syrup.
"After, they will see how sap becomes syrup over our wood-fired evaporator. Pancakes will be available to purchase. Our goats and chickens will be available to feed."
How long have you been doing the Sugar Maple Shack Tours?
"My family and I have been tapping maple trees since 2013 where we experimented right in our backyard. At the time, we used a turkey fryer to boil the sap and would finish it in our own kitchen on a frying pan. I enjoyed sharing my final product with family and friends to taste.
"After enjoying the process and bonding time with my family, I decided to purchase a wood-fired evaporator in 2016. Soon after, our Sugar Shack was established and we opened tours to the public in 2019."
This experience will allow you to learn how sap is produced and made into their delicious maple syrup. They will also have maple syrup, pancakes and doughnuts available for purchase.
Tours will be offered March 12, 13, 19 and 20. They will have selected times for the tours: 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4:15 p.m. Each tour will last about one hour and forty-five minutes.
Admission is $17, and free for children 1 and under. They are cash only; tickets will be sold at the door and space is limited.