Maple Syrup Production at Mountain Winds Farm
Randy Grippin has been producing maple syrup for 18 years at his farm located in the Heldebergs in Berne, NY. Twenty-five years ago, Randy purchased the farm from his parents and started making maple syrup with 50 pails and an outdoor cooker. Over the years, the Grippin family expanded the maple syrup operation to include 18 miles of pipeline, 1850 taps, a reverse osmosis system and a wood-fired evaporator. In a typical year, Randy produces between 350 and 500 gallons of maple syrup.
This year Randy started collecting sap on February 11th. When not making maple syrup and in the off-season, Randy maintains and repairs the lines to ensure a steady flow of sap once the season begins. Prior to the start of the season, he changes out lines that are showing signs of wear and installs more taps. The weather has a big impact on production from year to year due to the variability of temperatures. Ideally, night temperatures need to drop to below freezing with temperatures in the mid-20s, so it doesn't take too long for the sap to warm up the next day. Ideal day temperatures are in the 40s. If the temperature is too warm during the day or at night, the sap won't run. "Our biggest challenges are the weather and the wild animal population chewing holes in our pipeline," said Randy.
As a small family-owned farm, Randy makes each batch of maple syrup with his wood-fired evaporator to produce a high-quality product with superior flavor. "We strive to make the best quality maple syrup and maple syrup products we possibly can. We have the store at the farm and sell at farmers' markets and craft fairs throughout the year," said Randy. For more information and to shop online, visit https://www.mountainwindsfarm.com/.