WILTON, Conn. - The long stretches of cold days and nights has messed up the natural balance of maple syrup production, at least at Ambler Farm in Wilton.
So far, there have only been five days of sap run in a season that normally lasts for five weeks, said Kevin Meehan, the program director at Ambler Farm.
"Last year we had 3,000 gallons of sap," Meehan said, so far this year they've only collected 1,100 gallons. And when it takes roughly 40 gallons of sap to create one gallon of maple syrup, it means that there is likely to be a shortage of maple syrup coming from the region this year.
By this time last year, the farm had made a record 1,500 bottles of syrup, this year they have only made 216.
"I'm probably the only person hoping it stays cold," Meehan said to those who went to farm's Maple Syrup Open House, Saturday afternoon.
He explained to the nearly 100 people there that in order to get the sap to make the syrup there needs to be warm days and cold nights so the sap runs up and down the tree instead of staying in the roots or at the top of the tree.
The farm collects from 500 taps at 10 different sites around Wilton, including 50 sugar maples at Middlebrook Middle School. Many of the taps are sponsored by local families who collect the sap weekly to be made into maple syrup.
Becoming one of the tap sponsors is probably in the future for the Santisi family of Wilton. Sarah Santisi said that she and her sons, Logan 6 and Kyle 4, went to the open house last year and have always enjoyed Ambler Farm.
"They really like learning about the Indians," Santisi said, talking about one of the demonstrations the farm has.
As for making the syrup, the farm looks to the 10 to 12 high school volunteers who spend around 8 hours keeping watch over the boiling sap as it turns into maple syrup.
"I couldn't do this with out the students," because they can volunteer so much time Meehan said, something he learned in the last seven years of making syrup.
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