YORKTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A stretch of chilly nights and warmer days has the sap flowing in northern Westchester County. That means the trees are tapped at White Oak Farm in Yorktown, the closest maple syrup producer to New York City.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports, it’s like a slice of Vermont, 30 miles north of the Bronx.READ MORE: 'Today's Verdict Is Not The End': Tri-State Area Officials React To Derek Chauvin's Conviction In George Floyd's Death
It’s the tap that gets the sap flowing from 2,400 maple trees to produce the sweet stuff. Drop by drop, it’s gently drawn into suction tubes that snake down the hillside.
The process results in a flood of sugary liquid that is collected and eventually boiled to make maple syrup.
The weather is providing a near-perfect window for maple sugaring.
“When it freezes at night and thaws during the day, that expansion and contraction draws sap up from the roots, brings it up to the crown and, as that sap comes down, we’re able to collect it in the holes that we drill,” said Bri Hart.READ MORE: Derek Chauvin Guilty On All 3 Counts In George Floyd’s Death
So how much tubing does it take to tap 2,400 sugar maple trees? They measured: 15 miles!
It’s a labor of love for Hart, who first helped harvest sap when he was four years old.
“Being out in the woods at that time of year, warming days, snow still on the ground, the sap running. It’s just a beautiful time of year,” Hart said.
The big sugar maple festival won’t be held this year because of the pandemic. But the farm is open for visitors on weekends – a chance to learn about the process and buy some of the product.
“Especially in the time of COVID, to be outside, to roll your sleeves up, to put your boots on, going through some mud and snow, tapping some trees, and getting some maple syrup out of it, seeing that whole process, it’s fantastic,” said Town Supervisor Matt Slater.MORE NEWS: Police: Gabriel Dewitt Wilson In Custody After Deadly Shooting At West Hempstead Stop & Shop
For perspective, 60 gallons of sap yield one gallon of syrup. The rhythm of the season dictates production; the sap runs until the weather turns too mild.