Owners: Nathan and Cristy Williams
Address: 1435 Dutch Hill Road, Tully, NY
Contact: 315-657-8116 or firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s maple syrup season in Central New York, and my family loves all things maple. In particular, my daughter fell in love with Dutch Hill Maple Cream after we purchased some at Destiny over the winter. She likes it better than maple syrup, which is too liquidy for her tastes. However, I couldn’t find maple cream anywhere else. Finally, I just looked at the jar and contacted Dutch Hill Maple Farm, and they wrote a very nice email back to me that suggested we come to one of their Maple Weekends (March 23 – 24 and March 30 – 31). On the last day, we made it, and it was definitely worth the ride!
If you are about to stop reading because you don’t have time to head to Tully, or because you live too far away, please check out Dutch Hill Maple’s online shop here. You can pick up your item at a later time for free, or you can choose to have it shipped by priority mail. If you live far away, or if you’re buying several items, shipping would make sense.
However, if you can find the time to ride to Tully, I strongly recommend a visit when they are boiling the syrup, if possible. The boiler is modern and the whole process looks quite beautiful – you can peek through the window on the boiler to see the sap boiling down to syrup, or look up to marvel at the massive quantity of steam billowing up through the ceiling. Since Maple Weekends are now over, email the owners to see if it’s still possible to have a tour. Other upcoming events are listed on their website.
We participated in a fascinating tour with Kristina from the Cornell Cooperative Extension, who explained that Dutch Hill Maple has upgraded its technology in the last few years to increase the efficiency of the syrup-making process. She took us up into the woods to see the complex system of tubes and vacuums that bring the sap down the hill, and we were able to see all of the steps to production. It’s amazing how much sap (and work!) goes into making just one gallon of maple syrup. The process is summarized on their website here, but it’s much more exciting to see it in person.
A few years ago, I took a tour I would also highly recommend at Beaver Lake Nature Center that described the basic process of making maple syrup using taps and buckets and boiling by wood stove over many days. I also have a friend in Fayetteville who used to make his own maple syrup in his back yard, and his process was highly labor intensive. I have also visited bigger maple syrup producers who gave a nice tour, but I found Dutch Hill’s tour to be more intimate, with highly modern equipment that made this tour stand out to me. It’s clear that farms like Dutch Hill are at the cutting edge in maple syrup making, and it was an interesting contrast from what I had seen in the past.
But their modern technologies only matter if the taste makes it worth it, and my family (and our friends who joined us) can attest that their product is fantastic. Don’t just trust our judgment – there is an entire shelf on the back wall featuring the awards they have earned, and these awards are outlined on their About DHM webpage, which is definitely worth reading. It’s a nice story of a family farm that started very small and is continuing on with a new generation.