March 8, 2010
Old Man Winter has delayed the annual production of maple syrup in Highland County.
In an average year, Rexrode's Sugar Orchard in Monterey produces about 300 gallons of syrup. But co-owner Annalee Rexrode says the long period of cold weather and plenty of snow has her believing this maple syrup season will be short.
Sugar farmers normally tap their trees in early February and run piping to holding tanks, which collect sugar water that is boiled down to syrup by the end of the month. Employee George Taylor says the weather needs to be warm enough to melt the sugar water in the trees.
Rexrode says her orchard has produced about 50 gallons of syrup so far but she's optimistic conditions will improve soon. The Highland County Sugar Maple Festival is scheduled to start next Saturday.