Maple Sugaring at Winvian Farm
At Winvian Farm, we pride ourselves on serving our guests with deeply local cuisine. That’s certainly partly because our Executive Chef Chris Eddy cares passionately about “seed-to-table” gourmet dining and the selection of the freshest, most flavorful ingredients. (Don’t miss our recent blog post on the microgreens, speaking of, that liven up Winvian Farm dishes even now in the heart of winter.)
But it’s also a way to further immerse our visitors in a deep sense of place: “place” here meaning the rustic loveliness of Northwest Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills.
Well, we couldn’t be more excited to announce a new component to both our local cuisine and our celebration of place: We’ve tapped some of our property’s venerable sugar maple trees to make some one-of-a-kind Winvian Farm maple syrup!
Maple Sugaring on Winvian Farm
The maples in question are those grand veterans lining the entrance to our property; they’re likely at least 150 years old. To harvest their sugary bounty, we’ve partnered with Spencer Lathy of Maplewood Farm in Harwinton, Connecticut as well as his mentor, Raymond Schmid.
Spencer and Ray have put 60 taps in place on the great trunks as well as the collection tubing and buckets that capture the sap; they’ll be collecting sap weekly from here on out and will soon start cooking it down to syrup.
We’re delighted to enact an age-old New England tradition here on our historic property, and delighted that now even the syrup at our breakfast table will be sourced from our land!
Connecticut Maple Sugaring
While Connecticut can’t compare to Vermont or Quebec in terms of syrup production, maple sugaring is nonetheless a long-standing and important industry in our state. The tradition of collecting sap from maples dates back centuries at least and was taught to European colonists in the Northeast by the Abenaki and other American Indian peoples.
Balmy sunny days and freezing nights are the key to hearty sap flow, which means maple-sugaring season in Connecticut typically runs from early February through the end of March. Groves of maple tapped by sugar makers are colloquially called “sugarbushes,” and the boiling-down of the sap to yield the denser, more concentrated syrup takes place in “sugarhouses.”
You can learn more about the local sugaring industry at the Maple Syrup Producers Association of Connecticut website.
Get Ready to Taste Some Winvian Farm Maple Syrup
So come join us this late winter and early spring here at Winvian Farm, and perhaps you’ll see our exciting sugaring process in action firsthand. Either way, we can’t wait for our guests to sample the first batch of homegrown Winvian maple syrup with a delicious breakfast!