Bright Acres sugar house holds open house
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hampton - posted Tue., Mar. 19, 2013
Rich Schenk said that he’s been fascinated with the maple syrup process since he was a child. “I was probably about your age,” he said to a 9-year-old visitor to his March 16 open house. “I must have heard about it or read about it some place,” said Schenk. “I went out into the back yard and started boiling sap in a pot. It kept me busy putting wood on that fire.”
This was the second year that Schenk, with his wife, Judy, has held an open house at his Bright Acres Sugar House in Hampton. Schenk said that the sap was running slow the day of the event, due to unseasonably cold temperatures. “It takes a cold night and a warm day,” said Schenk. “If you don’t get either one, you don’t get a lot of sap.”
But overall, this year’s syrup season has been a good one, and Schenk had plenty of sap already collected to keep him busy. At the open house, his sugar shack was filled with the delicious aroma of warm sap, and steam and smoke poured from the windows and chimney. “We want to make sure we have enough syrup made to sell through the year,” said Schenk. Warm days and cold nights have combined to produce not only copious amounts of sap, but great-tasting sap, at that. The sugar content in maple sap varies from year to year, according to Schenk. This year, it’s high. “The syrup tastes very good this year,” said Schenk.