About Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm
Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm is family owned and operated by the Coty family; we have sugared here since 1980. We are situated in the heart of the Green Mountains, near Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak.
Early Spring in Vermont is synonymous with maple sugaring. The days lengthen, the sun is higher and warmer, pussy willows emerge and the sap is running. As sugarmakers we have four to eight weeks, usually during March and April, to collect the sap and boil it down into maple syrup. Sap from the sugar maple tree looks and tastes like water, so we need about fifty gallons to make just one gallon of syrup.
In early March, our family and small crew tap about 9000 sugar maples which grow abundantly on our hillside. During the months prior to tapping, we gather many cords of wood, evaluate our trees for health, and maintain the network of tubing which carries the sap downhill to our sugarhouse.
The sap flows by gravity, aided by vacuum, into storage tanks. Next, we pump it through a reverse-osmosis membrane capable of concentrating it to a sweeter sap.
Now boiling can begin in the sugarhouse. We stoke the fire til it roars. Several cords of wood are burned in a single day. Huge billows of steam waft from the cupola. The sap froths and bubbles. When thick enough, we draw it from the pans to be filtered and canned. Boiling days are the height of the sugarmaker's year. As a ritual of Spring, it is shared by all who see the steam and stop by to enjoy the sights and smells in the sugarhouse and to savor a taste of hot fresh syrup.