While many Shattuck-St. Mary’s students spend their time at home playing video games and helping their parents around the house, Ryan Comishock, ’22, spends his time at home tapping trees for maple syrup in Vermont. “We started maple syruping two years ago. We have 22 acres. I would say 70% of that is trees” says Comishock.
Ryan’s family helps produce part of the more than 2 million gallons of syrup that is made in the Green Mountain State each year, according to vermontvacation.com.
Ryan explains that conditions have to be perfect in order for the trees to release a lot of sap. “You want it to be freezing at night and warm during the day. That’s when the trees open up and you get a lot of syrup.”
There are miles of pipe that runs across the Comishock’s property. The pipelines have mainlines, and then a series of smaller lines that run to every individual tree. These pipelines have vacuums that suck the syrup from the taps in the trees into massive holding tanks. “…we all have like 1500 to hundreds of thousands of taps.” The taps each produce 10 gallons of sap, enough to make 1 quart of sweet, savory syrup, per maplesource.com. He explains that they sell this sap to a company that will pick up the sap from the Comishock’s holding tanks and boil it down to make syrup.
As for the best maple syrup treat to get, Ryan insists that the maple bars are the way to go. “They have maple creme on top. Those things are so good.”
No one in Ryan’s small town of Enosburg, Vermont would even think about using fake maple syrup. “Using the fake syrups you get from the store is a big, big, no no in Enosburg.”