GRAHAMSVILLE – The weather can be a fickle partner when it comes to agriculture.And nobody watches the weather any closer than maple syrup producer John Garigliano, who operates the Catskill …
GRAHAMSVILLE – The weather can be a fickle partner when it comes to agriculture.
And nobody watches the weather any closer than maple syrup producer John Garigliano, who operates the Catskill Mountain Sugar House on Glade Hill Rd., Grahamsville.
Warm days and cool nights are what makes John smile and the recent spell of unseasonably warm temperatures in February – especially on Wednesday – had John and his six-man crew working all out to make the 800 gallons of syrup and store it in stainless steel drums.
“This has been a great year so far,” John said as he kept a close eye on his state-of the-art Lapierre evaporater as reduced the thousands of gallons of sap into amber-colored maple syrup.
“We’ve made 40 barrels of syrup so far in February and we will make another 10 barrels tomorrow with the sap we collected,” he said. “To get this warm weather this time of year is a blessing.”
John said that because the warm weather was happening in February there was no chance of the Maple trees budding – a sign that Maple syrup season is over.
“We only had a 20-day season in 2021 because it warmed up so fast,” he said.
Although some of Catskill Mountain Sugar House’s restaurant customers are experiencing slow downs or closure during the pandemic, John said the overall demand for syrup is up and “the industry is doing well.”
So far in February John and his crew have made 2,500 gallons of syrup from the 55,000 trees he has tapped throughout the Town of Neversink and he is predicting a very good year.
John said he and his crew were ready for the warm weather, with all of trees tapped when the first sap started flowing on February 13.
He keeps close records to make sure he knows how well his season is going.
“We better know by now, or something is wrong,” the veteran maple syrup producer said with a smile.
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