While we had lots to do at our own place today we decided to go ahead and drive an hour west of us to the Highland County Maple Festival. I’m so glad we did. We picked up a map at The Highland Inn in downtown Monterey Virginia. A gal there told us about some of the sugar camps. We wanted to go to the small operations that used old methods. Our first stop was Laurel Fork Sap Suckers.
This was our view as we walked from the parking area to the sugar house. The sugar house was down this hill. It didn’t seem very steep until we had to climb back up it! What a work out!
Here Ronnie Moyer gives us a tour of his sugar house.
The sugar water is cooked down to make the maple syrup in these old trays. I believe he said the tray on the left is 100 years old and the one on the right is 80 years old. It takes 44 gallons of sugar water to make one gallon of syrup.
Even though the house is vented there was condensation dripping from the rafters and the house was cozy warm and smelled wonderful.
A more modern set up in the next room. I think he said this was 1950’s technology.
They were very generous with their samples. We each had a couple spoonfuls.
Next, we visited Duff’s Sugar House. Here Sheriff Duff (yes, he is the real sheriff) explains his operation.
Beautiful views at Duff’s.
I can’t resist the sheep!
Dave had a barbecue sandwich at each of the sugar camps. Sam and I shared this maple chicken and cinnamon sugar sweet potato at Duff’s. Delish!
It was interesting that Laurel Fork said it was a great year for them and Duff’s said it had been horrible and both attributed it to the cold winter. Only Laurel Fork Sapsuckers maple syrup came home with us. Duff’s wasn’t selling any. This stuff is so good. I’ll have to try basting my roasted chickens with it sometime.