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DuFresne's Sugar House :: Year-Round Maple Syrup, Candy and Cream Made in the Hidden Hills of Western Massachusetts
Hidden-Hills.com
Autumn 2017
Tuesday,
November 21, 2017

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DuFresne's Sugar House

113 Goshen Road (Route 9)
Williamsburg, MA 01096

map | overhead view (Google)

413-268-7509

Family owned. Year-round maple syrup, candy and cream.


Friends of Leon Dufresne boiling sap in 1920

The Dufresne Sugar House has been making maple syrup for four generations, starting in Canada with my great-grandfather.

My grandfather and father made syrup in Hawley, MA until Dad went off to war in 1941. In 1982 we realized we had maple trees on a piece of land we had recently purchased. We set 300 buckets the first year. That seemed like much too much work, so in 1984 we switched to tubing, set 550 taps, and made 110 gallons of syrup. Over the years we have grown to setting about 6,000 taps and making about 1,000 gallons of syrup per year.


Leon and Arthur Dufresne boiling sap in 1937

In February 2001 I acquired my life partner and fellow maple syrup lover. She and I primarily, along with my son (the fifth generation) and parents, now bring you our maple products.

We are in the process of switching from flexible tubing, which must be set and removed each year, to rigid tubing, which stays in the woods year round and is cleaned in place using a pressurized tubing system. Even with the permanent tubing system, each of those 6,000 taps has to be handled 2 times per season. The tap hole has to be drilled and the spout inserted. At cleaning time, each spout is pulled out and water is run through it. Then each drop line and spout has to be drained of water and plugged up.


Gathering sap with Joe Dufresne in 1938

We burn between 40 and 60 cords of wood per season to boil the sap. One man can process about two cords of wood per day, if he works diligently all day, so you can get an idea of how much work goes into just putting up the necessary wood. In addition to cutting wood to burn, there is forest upkeep. Bear, coyote and squirrel damage to the tubing system must be repaired. Brush must be kept down in order to to make it possible to walk from tree to tree. There is a lot of equipment required for this job, including an evaporator, the tubing, a tractor, a truck, a four-wheeler and a snowmobile. The latter two are for getting around in the woods where a tractor or truck cannot go. All of this equipment must be maintained.

Although the "sugaring season" is very short, "sugaring" is a full-time job when all of the above work is considered.

For more information about us please visit our website.

 

 


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