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Maple syrup season warming up

There are about six weeks during the year when maple sap flows freely from trees and that time is now.

BEAVER SPRINGS, Pa. — The recent thaw has things heating up at Shade Stone Farm in Beaver Springs. This week marked the start of maple syrup season. The sap is collected from hundreds of trees and processed in the sugar house.

"That process starts with the reverse osmosis where we take a lot of the water out of the sap, and that concentrates it. But it's not concentrated enough for maple syrup, so we run it through an evaporator," Jon Plasterer said.

Jon and Mary Plasterer own Shade Stone Farm. With the help of their neighbor, they have been making maple syrup for four years.

"It basically goes from the trees through our machines, into a bottle, and onto your pancakes," Jon said.

The maple syrup usually starts in mid-February and lasts around six weeks. The Plasterers sell their syrup at several local stores, including the Selinsgrove Farmers Market.

"People appreciate getting a local product because normally you see maple syrup from Vermont or Canada," Mary Plasterer said.

Next weekend, Shade Stone is part of a maple tour that involves three area maple farms.

Shade Stone Farm is teaming up with two neighboring sugar shacks for a maple tour. People are encouraged to visit all three of the facilities, including farms in Millmont and Lewistown.

"They can get a tour of the sugar shack, a tour of the woods to see the lines out there, ask any questions, buy some syrup," Mary said.

The COVID-friendly maple tour is next Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

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