Door County Maple Syrup

I stopped by to see my granddaughter this morning and her “other grandpa” was in his sugar shack making his last batch of maple syrup. It was a good season, meaning the season lasted a long time which amounted to more maple syrup than usual. That coupled with the fact that  flooding in Vermont caused their production to be way down which means prices here could go up. Karen and Dave Schartner (my daughter-in-law’s parents) own and operate  Schartner’s Farm Market in Egg Harbor.  Like Egg Harbor Lodge, it is a true family-run business.  With the help of family and friends the Schartner’s tap literally thousands of maple trees. They take the sap which looks clear and doesn’t really taste like anything and boil it down to get rid of the water and take it down to its simple sugars or syrup.

Dave Schartner

Dave Schartner

In order to boil the sap, huge amounts of wood are burned in the  “evaporator” as the sap-making contraption is called.  The sugar shack gets hotter than heck, but whom ever is watching over the process cannot leave the shed in fear of burning the sap.  If that happens the entire operation  has to be shut down and the evaporator cleaned which is a complete pain in the neck- not to mention the loss of time and money.  The syrup is strained a total of three times  before it is bottled.  The syrup is then sold at Schartner’s Farm Market.   I’ll tell you first hand it will  make you want to get home and throw an Eggo into the toaster.


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