Well we returned from Washington County and a big day of seeing a real, top of the line, Maple Sugaring operation, at the Dry Brook Sugar House on Chambers Road, in Salem, NY.
Before we got to the sugar house, we stopped at a little store in Cambridge that sells beads and supplies. It was called Over the Moon Beads. Vick bought a bunch of beads and other stuff. What a neat place and meeting Sara was really nice too. If you’re ever in Cambridge, NY, stop on West Main Street to visit them. After leaving there, we went on to the sugar shack.
We arrived there just in time, because within fifteen minutes of our arriving, they ran out of sap and had to shut down the operation. We were however lucky enough to talk to Bob Chambers himself and got to see Bob’s dad, John Jr. who you see gathering sap in the 1940’s picture on the home page of their website. John Jr. used to use a horse and sled to gather his sap, but now Bob says alost all of their collected sap comes from pipe lines between tapped trees and gravity flows down the ridges to the catch containers at the bottom of the ridge. You can see the pictures below, showing you exactly what we saw. Bob told us that they started today with 10,000 gallons of sap, which gave them about 200 gallons of dark amber syrup in the end. Seems like a lot of work for only a 2% return by volume………Bob said you need the cool nights near freezing, and the warm 50° days to make the sap really run. Part of their huge farm is in New York and part is in Vermont, but all the land that they draw sap from is on their own land.
Once we returned home from the days events, we met Stanley Maltzman, Joyce W., and Lois B. at Ruby’s restaurant in Freehold, NY, to see an art display in the upstairs gallery. It was a complete and beautiful oil painting display by James Cramer…… an excellent area painter, who does beautiful work. How we would love to have a few of his paintings in our house to place beside Stanley’s works. From the Gallery…… we went to Green Hill Café in Norton’s Hill, for a divine dinner and chatting and laughing. Upon leaving Frank’s (Green Hill Café ) we dropped Lois off at her home and went in to see her studio shop. Lois is a potter and has all the tools and a ton of beautifully, finished pottery for sale. Some day we will go visit, to watch her throw pottery and we’ll take pictures.
Here is the Evaporator
Look at that dark amber syrup pour out.
This is John Jr., Bob's father. Here he is enjoying pancakes, covered with the product he, his son and son-in-law perfected over the years. Go to their site below this picture to see what this young entrepreneur was doing in the 1940's !
The old fashioned, traditional way to gather the sap.
The modern way to collect sap. The largwe blue line runs up the ridgesto the tapped trees and each tree donates it's sap to the lines, flowing down to the large catch container. The collection time is reduced greatly allowing the Chambers to run the dairy farm too.
The bedding building..... full of wood chips for the cow's bedding.
Equipment sheds and some big equipment!