Top photo: Steam rising from our evaporator as sap is boiled into syrup.

The Syrup Season

Every spring, the maple trees give up their glorious sap. Sap begins to flow from the sugar maple trees when spring days get above freezing. It flows best when the temperature is below freezing at night, then thaws during the day.

In Northern Michigan, the main sap flow usually occurs during March. A typical syrup season is intense, since it usually lasts only 3-4 weeks.

Harwood Gold Sugar Bush

Tapping & Sap Collecting

Tapping a maple tree causes no permanent damage if care is taken, and a tree can yield sap for over 100 years. Tapping has to be done before the sap begins to flow, typically in February.

Our sap lines are on a vacuum system which pulls the sap into collection tanks. It then gets pumped through underground pipes up to the farm.

The Magic

aka - The Evaporation Process

Once the sap is at the farm, it is pumped through a reverse osmosis machine. This removes a large amount of water from the sap. The concentrated sap goes into the evaporator, and the MAGIC begins.

The temperature is closely monitored as the sap is boiled.  Sap becomes syrup at about 7° higher than the boiling point of water. It is quickly drawn off the evaporator when it reaches this perfect temperature.

Maple Syrup Bottling

Storing & Bottling

The beautiful, aromatic liquid gold gets pumped through a filter press, then it goes into storage kegs. We bottle it as needed for our store and orders.

The pure maple syrup is also used in the Harwood Gold kitchen. Maple syrup is the only sweetener we use in all of our products.