Warrup’s Farm in Redding is one of our favorite farms to visit for a maple sugaring demonstration. Each of the first three weekends in March, owner Bill Hill treats guests to a free lesson as he babysits the wood-fired cooker, taking care not to let the syrup overcook.
Maple sugaring , which takes place mid-February to the end of March, starts with tapping maple trees and slinging collection buckets from them, then collecting the sap and bringing it to the maple sugar house to be boiled until it reaches the syrup stage. It’s then poured off, strained and cooled. The syrup is later reheated in the kitchen to a temperature of 180 degrees and poured into jugs for sale to the public.
It take 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup! No wonder it looks like water in the collection buckets. Be sure to buy some syrup while you’re at the farm. Demand has been so great recently that little or none makes it the farmers’ markets.
Warrup’s Farm is located on John Read Road, Redding, CT, 1.2 miles north of Redding Center, off Route 107. Do not attempt to travel to the farm via Rt. 58 as it is impassible according to the farm’s web site. Maple sugar demonstrations are held the first three weekends in March from 11-5. The farm is also open seasonally for pick your own organic produce and flowers, pumpkins, and cut your own Christmas trees. The farm stand is open late July through the first frost from 10-6. Call ahead to plan your visit: 203-938-9403.
Warrup’s Farm announced a CSA Program this year and it quickly filled up. Please click here to add your name to the waiting list for 2011.
If you have children, the barnyard animals, including the “sentry” ducks, will entertain them. Along with the cats, goats, pony and hens, there’s plenty to keep them occupied while you visit the sugar house and gain an appreciation for the ancient art of making syrup from the sap of maple trees.