Though it may conjure up storybook images of quaint Vermont shacks, maple is actually a booming industry, aided by the syrup’s popularity among paleo types and maple water’s incarnation as a trendy new functional beverage.
At Crown Maple, the second largest maple syrup producer in the United States, sap-farming is now a high-tech affair, involving satellite surveys and real estate scouts.
This episode of Gastropod takes a behind-the-scenes tour of Crown Maple’s “sugar chateau” to learn how the thin greenish sap is sucked out of the nearby forest and boiled into syrup.
Update as of April 2018: Crown Maple is no longer regularly open to the public, but does host special events throughout the year where the public can visit.
Know Before You Go
You can visit Madava Farms, the home of Crown Maple, to see how sap travels from tree to barrel as well as taste test the final result, every weekend. Tour tickets are $10 for adults and $2 for children.