Inside Maple Syrup Season

By Brandi Devine

February 25, 2012 Updated Feb 25, 2012 at 7:46 PM EDT

Marathon, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Maple Syrup season is just getting underway, but the weather is not quite where sugarers would like it to be.

"My father is one of the founding member of the central New York Maple Festival," says Floyd Parker, owner of Millrace Maple Products.

That's how it all got started for Floyd Parker.

He became sappy for syrup at the age of 9 and has never looked back.

41years later, Parker owns Millrace Maple Products, and has seen up's and down's in a business that's sometimes out of your hands.

"We've made upwards of 350 gallons, and as little as 69 gallons. It depends on the year, the sugar content and the weather," says Parker.

Parker has designated spots where he taps maple trees, with some right in his backyard.

On days like Saturday, the weather has left taping buckets empty.

"If it's above freezing they'll start dripping immediately, and those 4 gallons buckets on a good day will be full, " says Parker.

Parker says Saturday was not one of those days.

The water and sugar is still down in the roots of the trees.

When it does warm up, the water will travel up the tree and end up in
Parker's buckets.

Then it's time to head back to the sugar shack, where teams are boiling down and filtering the water and sugar.

"This is the evaporator, it's a 30 by 8 and we're boiling the water off the sap to condense it down into syrup," says Parker.

After it becomes syrup, Parker and his team take it into the kitchen and place it into a heating can where it's mixed with a few other ingredients.

If the syrup comes out crystal clear, then it's ready to be sent out and enjoyed by all of us.

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