We came here on our second day in Grafton, NY with my aunt. It was just a short drive across the border into Masachusettes and the express purpose of our visit was to go to Ioka Valley Farms and have blueberry pancakes with fresh all natural maple syrup, with none of that nasty corn syrup stuff that's so bad for you.
It was cold that morning but that's apparently what makes the weather perfect for harvesting the sap of the maple trees. It warms up just enough to keep the maple flowing. Temperature above 40 degrees F and frosty nights are what keeps it flowing. It was quite a site to look up the hill and see all of the trees connected with a system of pipes that all flowed downhill by way of gravity and into this barn where the sap is cooked. It takes 40 gallons of sap to yield one gallon of maple syrup. Ever wondered why natural maple syrup is so expensive? For more maple facts go here
They had us tour the barn while we waited for a table to open up so we could see the process behind making the syrup. They even had a display of several types of commercially produced maple "flavored" syrups and their ingredients up next to theirs. It's amazing to see what goes into that stuff that calls itself maple syrup. After the tour we headed over to the main barn to eat the most wonderful homemade blueberry pancakes and corn muffins and homemade apple sauce. There is so much more to this farm than maple syrup too so check out their homepage