Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 10:00 am
Please join the Woodland Owner’s Association for a tour of John and Debe Plummer’s sugaring operation in Grafton.
Plummer’s Sugar House is a 3rd generation, family-owned business. John & Debe Plummer have been running it for 30 years. They put out roughly 6,000 taps. Sap runs from mainlines directly into holding tanks inside the sugarhouse. A vacuum pump is connected to these mainlines to create vacuum which helps the sap to flow as there are many miles of tubing in the woods! Besides boiling their own sap, they also buy and boil sap from local sugar makers who truck their sap to the Plummer’s sugarhouse.
The Plummers use two Reverse Osmosis machines to reduce the amount of water in the sap before it is boiled. When the sap comes out of the trees, it is only about 2% sugar content. This takes a lot of boiling to bring it up to about 68% sugar content to make it maple syrup. The Reverse Osmosis machines (RO Machines) take out 75% of the water which cuts down on the amount of fuel they use and also cuts down on their labor.
They begin tapping the trees from the beginning to middle of February. Weather depending, the sap will run from the end of February to middle of March. When the temperatures during the day are above freezing, the sap runs but it still freezes up at night. The sap they get during the morning is processed right away and will be made into syrup before the sap flow freezes up at night. Sap will continue to run and be boiled until the buds come out on the maple tree, sometime during the middle of April, again depending on the weather. The warmer the weather, the earlier sugaring ends. When it is time to pull the taps out, all the trees once again get visited and each tap gets pulled out. The lines stay up in the woods. The tap holes in the trees will now have time to heal.
The Plummers have a shop on their farm where they sell all grades and all size jugs of their maple syrup. They also make a Maple Cream Spread and Pure Maple Candy that melts in your mouth. Granulated Maple Sugar and Pancake Mix is also sold at their shop. A free tour is given with any purchase. They ship on a daily basis and have a website: www.plummerssugarhouse.com
FROM ROUTE 30 coming into Townshend: Take Route 35 N. in Townshend at the intersection of Rt 30 & Rt 35 (follow the Hospital Sign) Go for 3.2 miles to a fork in the road. Take the LEFT fork. Go for 3.8 miles. They’re on the left. You will see a field and then red barns and a white farmhouse.
FROM THE CHESTER AREA: Take Route 35 towards Grafton. Go 6 miles until stop sign. Take a RIGHT into Grafton. Take your 2nd LEFT at the Old Tavern (Townshend Road). They are 3 miles down this road on the right. There’s a white picket fence in front of the white farmhouse. You’ll see red barns and the sugarhouse.