Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup

at NCOF

Fresh Maple Syrup

NCOF syrup is very much a community effort and is celebrated annually through Maple Magic!

Collecting and Boiling Sap

NCOF makes syrup the old-fashioned way, hanging silver-colored, lidded buckets from individually drilled tap holes fitted with special hollow metallic tubes with hooks on them, called spiles.
Tapping commences in late winter when temperature fluctuations (nights below freezing, days above freezing) trigger sap flow and  pull stored sugars out of tree roots.
Buckets are collected and emptied by hand, by farmers working with youth workers, and volunteers.
Sap is then transferred to the NCOF sugar shack where it is boiled down in a traditional wood-fired evaporator in our old-timey but recently renovated shack using wood donated by local arborists and split by teens on our teen work crew.
We do not grade our syrup, as larger commercial producers do, preferring to sell it “as is” and letting people choose for themselves whether they like the flavor of lighter or darker syrup.

Where We Tap

NCOF syrup is very much a community effort.
While the Farm itself has about 20 sugar maple trees, NCOF hangs between 700-800 taps in late winter on sugar maples across 5 local communities (Natick, Wellesley, Dover, Sherborn, and Holliston) on both public and private land, all with permission of the land owners and stewards.
NCOF is always on the look out for “new” local tap sites, with multiple trees at least 15 years old,  and with a girth of at least 12 inches 4 feet off the ground.
Through communal efforts, NCOF makes between 100 and 300 gallons of maple syrup a year–season length and yield are completely weather dependent.

Like most things, maple syrup tastes better if you had a hand in making it!

Keep an eye on our website and social media for opportunities to participate in our maple sugaring operation, our sugaring tours, and Maple Magic

Maple Sugaring Tours

Thousands of people of all ages attend our maple sugaring tours to learn the science, lore and traditions of maple sugaring!
Discover sugaring  history and artifacts beginning with Native Americans through modern times, learn the science of sugaring, visit our tapped maples and sample sap if it’s dripping, and explore our sugar shack where a wood-stocked evaporator boils sap into delicious syrup

Maple Magic

The farm hosts special events every year to bring family, friends, and community together to share in the organic farm experience. Come enjoy a pancake breakfast and learn about the farm’s maple sugaring practices at Maple Magic