Maple Grove Farm tapping trees for sugaring season

AFTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Wiggin family has been making maple syrup for 3 generations. It’s a family tradition that Lucas and Candace Wiggin said will continue to be passed down in their family.

“We have about a hundred acres here at the farm and every year, usually the first week of January, that’s what we call sugaring season,” said Candace Wiggin. “We put out about 500 taps, that’s 500 buckets and we collect that sap daily.”

Candace said that the first step in the maple-making process is to collect the sap from the trees, but you can only do that during certain times of the year because temperatures have to be just right.

“The temperatures have to be just right for the trees to be able to produce the sap that we can harvest,” said Candace. “We need temperatures at night that are below freezing and we need temperatures during the day that are more mild above freezing.”

The Wiggin family told News Channel 11 that the first step is collecting the sap from the trees, which has to be boiled in an evaporator.

“We pipe it into our storage tanks, and it gravity feeds into our evaporator,” said Lucas Wiggin. “It’s exactly that, it is designed to evaporate the water out of it and condense the sugar content.”

Currently, Maple Grove Farm has 3 different flavors of syrup other than the regular maple syrup, those flavors are apple cider infused, bourbon barrel aged syrup, and the newest one–a chili infused syrup.

Lucas Wiggin said he has plans to add more flavors in the future.

“I’m toying with a vanilla bean-infused maple syrup,” said Lucas. “There are a few different kinds out there, but I’m not sure quite yet what I’m going to do.”

The Maple Grove Farm has bottles for sale on its Facebook page, you can place an order here.

The Wiggin family will also be at the Maple Syrup Festival and Pancake Breakfast at the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site on Feb. 10.

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