Because sugar maples aren’t common this far south, Waterfall Farm is the only commercial maple syrup operation in North Carolina.
From left, Michael Waldeck, Wheeler Munroe, Nancy Roten, and Doug Munroe work as a team to produce maple syrup at Waterfall Farm.
Piles of wood harvested from the property are stacked and ready outside the sugarhouse, where some 4,500 gallons of sap were boiled down last winter to make maple syrup.
In this area, maple syrup production happens for about six weeks from early February through mid March, when the nights are cold and days are warmer.
Long hours are spent boiling the sap down into syrup for bottling.
The process involves tapping trees and setting up tubing to transfer the sap to the evaporator.
Wheeler sets up taps and tubing, which pumps the sap to the evaporator in the sugarhouse.
It takes 55 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of syrup.
Last year the farm produced 85 gallons of syrup, which are sold direct from the farm and at the Ashe County Farmers Market.