Maple Syrup Farmers Starting to Tap

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CANADENSIS -- If you drive through the Poconos, you might notice some buckets hanging from trees. That's because maple syrup farmers are getting down to business.

For the past 12 years, Lalena and Mike Stirr have been making maple syrup. These days, they're busy tapping maple trees in the Tannersville area because as they put it, Mother Nature is cooperating.

"Sunny days in the 40's are ideal. At night they dip below and the sap will move back down the roots of the trees to snuggle in and stay warm," said Lalena Stirr, the owner of Dutch Hill Preserves in Canadensis.

There are only a few more weeks left to tap the trees and the Stirr children are on hand to help out the family-run business: Four year-old Alexander, eleven year-old Gabriel and 13 year-old Logan.

"It takes hard work to get it from the tree into the small bottles," said Logan Stirr.

The Stirrs own Dutch Hill Preserves"in Canadensis.  They tap trees on their farm and also have an agreement to tap trees here on a church property near Tannersville.

They collect the sap the old-fashioned way.

"First we drill a hole, then we put a tap into the tree, and we use a hammer until it goes tap tap thunk. Then we hang a bucket off it," said Logan.

At st. Paul's United Church of Christ near Tannersville, the Stirr family finds the maple trees on the property and hangs 50 buckets from the trees.

"It takes about 45 gallons of sap cooked down and your left with only one gallon of syrup," said Mike Stirr, the owner of Dutch Hill Preserves.

Dutch Hill Preserves in Canadensis plans to host a free open house the weekend of March 9 - March 10.

They will show guests how they collect and make their maple syrup.