Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Southern Most Sugarbush!

As part of their Forest Management Technology capstone course, HCC forestry students recently traveled to Maple Creek Farm in Yancey County to discuss forest management and non-timber forest products, with Mr. Richard Sanders (Forester and Farm Manager of Maple Creek Farm). Maple Creek Farm is the furthest southern commercial producer of maple syrup in the US, and the only one located in North Carolina. Their "sugar bush" consists of two stands, each with some 200+ sugar maple trees, located on the north and east facing slopes of two mountainsides. The stands are high on the slopes between 3,100 and 3,900 feet in elevation. Over four miles of tubing and piping carries the maple sap from the trees down the mountain to the "sugar shack" in the valley between the mountains(From Maple Creek Farm's website: http://www.maplecreekfarm.net)

At the end of the tour we assisted Richard in inspecting some of the farm's maple syrup by pouring it over vanilla ice cream.

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