Wilton maple syrup harvest is under way

WINTER — It’s still winter, but one harvest that’s under way is maple sap.

When the days are warm and sunny, sap begins to rise in the sugar maple trees. Freezing temperatures at night send the sap back down, to rise again the next day temperatures are above freezing.

Here, February is prime time for collecting maple sap, and with its large stands of sugar maples, Ambler Farm began hanging buckets during its Tap-A-Tree program on Feb. 1. Some 100 families from Wilton and area towns turned out for two sessions where they signed up to hang buckets and eventually reap the rewards of sap turned into syrup.

The farm will send regular updates on how the sap is running so participants may visit and collect the sap from their tree.

After the sap is collected during the coming weeks, it will be boiled down into syrup and each family will go home with their own bottle. Ambler Farm syrup may also be purchased at the farm or the Wilton farmers market come spring.

The farm reports there are still a few buckets available for anyone who wants to sign up for the season that typically lasts about five weeks. The cost is $65 for non-members, $60 for members. Email program director Kevin Meehan at kevin@amblerfarm.org.

Maple syrup open houses are planned for Saturday, Feb. 29 and March 7, from 1 to 2 p.m., where visitors to the farm on Hurlbutt Street may tap a tree, take the “maple syrup test,” and learn how syrup was made from past to present. Included is a taste of Ambler’s own maple syrup on vanilla ice cream.