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Maple Season in Northeast Michigan

It’s maple season once again, and here at the MacArthur family farm in Lachine, they’ve begun their process of making maple products, something they’ve done at this same location for over 140 years.

They have a wood fire evaporator set up in one of their barns that boils down the maple. They take pride in keeping things old school.

“We are a wood fire evaporator, which gives you a nice dense flavor, and we have a three pan system, which allows us to make about five gallons an hour,” said co-owner of MacArthur Farm, Sara MacArthur.

The ideal time of year for maple season is when the nights are freezing and the days are above 40 degrees.

“That way, the trees start to thaw, and the sap within the trees starts to flow, and that way when we tap the trees we capture that sap,” said MacArthur. “But once it’s frozen, we can’t capture the sap.”

The MacArthur family has a long history on their farm, producing maple products since the 1800s. Keeping that consistency is one of their biggest values. Outside of technology changes, they’ve kept their process mainly the same all this time.

“We’ve still got the original family farm house, the original family woods, and the original 1916 barn that you see here on our farm, and several of the other buildings are newer, but we’ve kept much of the same traditions alive,” said MacArthur.

When you think maple syrup, you think the MacArthur family. Their surname has been associated with that sweetness for a long time.

“To us it’s a tradition and an honor to uphold,” said MacArthur.

The MacArthur family is now working on incorporating the next generation of MacArthurs into the farming process.