GOWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — On a typical year hundreds of folks flock to maple farms across Western New York, but this year because of the pandemic, things are looking a little bit different.
Maple Glen Sugar House in Gowanda is one of several local maple producers that are hosting covid-safe tours this year.
“So this year, we don’t have the sample bars, the wagon rides, but we do have all the products for sale, along with tours inside and outside the sugar house as well,” said Paul Lesefske owner Maple Glen Sugar House in Gowanda.
When you’re taking a tour of the farm they’ll show you how the syrup is made from start to finish.
They’ll also explain all the science that’s involved in production of maple.
“So, the reverse osmosis works under 400 pounds pressure, forcing all the lighter water molecules out the top of the membrane, the heavier sugar molecules out the bottom,” said Lesefske. “And from there it goes through an ultraviolet light to kill all of the bacteria.”
Lesefske has been making maple syrup with this family for decades. Their store front is open year round. and there’s lots to choose from, there’s maple candy and sugar for cooking or for coffee. There’s also several different flavors and colors of maple syrup.
“There’s 4 table grades, you’re golden, amber, dark and very dark. So, dark is a lot more maple flavor than what you’re golden would be. We try and save the golden, the lighter syrups and even the amber to make into our candy and use our darker syrup for granulated sugar.”
The WNY Maple Producers Association says the best way to find out if a local maple producer is hosting tours is to call or visit their website. All that information can be found here.
Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.