Fort Drum Reaps Sweet Reward From Maple Syrup Program

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Foresters for Fort Drum have more than 700 taps out, collecting sap.

The weather is right for it - sunny and 40's during the day and freezing at night.

"Right now, we're experiencing really good sap flows," said Rodger Voss, installation forester.

In all, about 200 gallons of maple syrup will come from the trees this year and much of it is given away at an event called Maple Days. 

Each year, soldiers and their families are invited to come out to the so-called sugar bush and learn all about syrup production. 

The goal is to help familiarize military families with the north country. 

It seems to be working - roughly 1,200 people came out for Maple Days earlier this month.

"A lot of people that come here aren't from the north country and don't have any idea what real maple syrup is or how its made," said Voss.

So how is maple syrup made? 

Here's the short version: sap runs from tapped trees to the collection point. 

From there, the sap is trucked to the processing facility to get boiled to remove water.

It essentially turns the sap from sugar water into thick, maple syrup. 

From there, it's sterilized, bottled, and ready to go!.

The syrup that isn't given away during Maple Days is sold at a gift shop on Fort Drum. 

The proceeds cover the cost of equipment and supplies for the maple syrup program. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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