Sweet Southern Tier syrup
Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) New York is the second largest producer of maple products in the United States, according to the New York Maple Producers Association. This season in the Southern Tier, temperatures have been too low on some farms for the sap to flow from the trees. At Nappy Farms in Johnson City, the maple syrup season is off to a slow start. "We need nights that are cold so the trees freeze up at night and warmer in the day," said Nappy Farms co-owner Dan Napierala. While the process of turning sap into syrup has stayed the same over the years, the methods to extract the sap have evolved. At Nappy Farms, they use a vacuum tubing system that pulls the sap from the trees. All of the trees are linked together by five miles of tubing. Napierala said it helps conserve man power while optimizing each tree's sap. While he maximizes sap, he also tries to maximize profit. One pint of Nappy Farm's Maple Syrup costs $10. That price tag comes with the trust of a local farmer, Napierala said. "In recent years, people want to have a connection to their food," he said. "(They) want to find out where their food comes from so they know where it's produced and in a lot of cases, build a relationship with that producer." Others agree. "I'd much rather put my money into a local business that needs the money rather than a Wegmans," Emily Knox of Sayre, Pa. said. "It helps keep the farms going and you need to do it," Ellie Palmer of the Town of Maine said. "You need to do that for your community." Napierala said the syrup business is on the upswing around the Southern Tier. He said there are more full-time maple product producers in New York than he has even seen.