By Shannon Harts
As winter finally comes to an end and another season is setting in, there’s a special sweetener that’s being made in this short window of time: maple syrup.
In 2010, Naples couple Garry and Bobbi Wohlschlegel decided to expand upon their hobby of making this super sweet, delectable product, according to Wohlschlegel’s website. They built an energy-efficient, state-of-the-art maple house near their home in the rolling hills of Naples.
Today their maple operation produces around 2,000 to 2,200 gallons of maple syrup a season, depending on the weather, Garry says. He said he thinks this season in particular is going by fast.
“It’s going to be a pretty quick season,” he said. “We have about a quarter of our crop in.”
This crop comes from about 40 acres of maple trees and 4,200 taps, according to Wohlschlegel’s website.
Visitors can taste the intricate flavors of Wohlschlegel’s maple syrup right near the sugar bush where it is made on March 20 and 21 and March 27 and 28 for annual Maple Weekend celebrations. It’s a bit different this year due to COVID-19 precautions, Garry said, as there will not be a pancake breakfast as in years past. However, there will be plenty of maple products to try outside under vendor tents and some specially-made maple walnut scones from Martha Jane’s Bakery.
Wohlschlegel’s products can also be found at a variety of other locations in around a 50-mile radius from the Naples sugarhouse. This includes local Naples grocery stores, Rochester-area farm market stores, and Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva. You can also find it through the foodservice distributor Headwater Food Hub and you can buy it online from Wohlschlegels’s website.
Garry says producing maple syrup to be sold at these locations certainly has its rewards.
“We get to be outside a lot and in tune in nature, making a natural product that comes right from the trees,” he says. “I think that’s pretty rewarding in itself—and it’s renewable.”
Learn more by visiting naplesmaple.com.
Made in the FLX is a weekly column highlighting the small scale food producers of the Finger Lakes. Each week we will feature a locally made food product that is distributed widely throughout the region and beyond, showcasing the strength and quality of our local resources.