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Students learn about maple syrup season

Maple syrup season is coming to a close in one part of Snyder County, but not before some students had the chance to see how it all works.

BEAVER SPRINGS, Pa. — This is a busy time of the year for Jon Plasterer and his family at Shade Stone Farm in Snyder County. Maple syrup has been made on this farm for more than 30 years. There are around 1,400 taps on these trees. Even so, their maple syrup season is almost over.

"We're still cooking sap today, but it will probably be the last sap that we cook," Plasterer said.

Plasterer says this season was longer than expected, but the sap did not run as well as he hoped. Maple syrup season is weather-dependent and requires cold nights, something we have not had a lot of.

"We did get pretty good sugar in our sap this year by the end of the season, so that was good. Even though we didn't get as much sap, we got more sugar, and that helps make better syrup," Plasterer said.

A group of home-schooled students from Snyder and Juniata Counties visited Shade Stone Farm to see how it all works. The children learned how maple syrup is made and got to taste it.

"My two favorite parts were testing it and probably all the lines that were out there," Levi Detweiler said.

"Probably tasting it and seeing what they have to do to put the taps in and stuff like that," Austin Hursh said.

"It's neat to listen to the kids because oftentimes they'll ask something that sounds really simple, but it's actually pretty profound when you think about how it works," Plasterer said.

Plasterer says that while his season is almost over, he believes maple syrup production in other parts of Pennsylvania is still going strong.

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