— Mark Sept 19-21 on your calendar and join in the 2013 Pennsylvania Maple Tour.
The tour will be headquartered at the Settlers Inn in Hawley. Settlers Inn is a bed and breakfast lodge in the Lake Region of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.
Artfully decorated with mission-style furniture and arts and crafts touches, this small Pennsylvania hotel welcomes you to an abundance of life’s quiet joys. Visit them online at www.thesettlersinn.com
This year’s tour features many fun and informative stops.
On Friday, it will be a tour of Shemanski Maple Syrup, which is run by Ron and Stanley Shemanski. Ron is the President of the Pennsylvania Maple Syrup Producers Council and the Vice-President of the Northeastern Maple Producers Association. Shemanskis have 3,500 taps, 3,000 of them on vacuum with Leader polycarbonate check valves.
They have a Lapierre 600 gallon, expandable to 1,200 gallon reverse osmosis machine that concentrates the sap before it is boiled on two 2 x 6 Leader evaporators, both with Steam-Aways.
A new building was constructed in the fall of 2012, with interior construction of office and kitchen space ongoing to meet the demand of their expanding markets. Shemanskis have joined Loch’s Maple as a sub-dealer for the following maple equipment manufacturers: CDL, Lapierre, H2O Innovations, Sugarhill Containers, Marcland Drawoffs, Kencove Fence Products, and Artisan Printing of Vermont.
Shemanskis and Lochs install and service what they sell. They also have a custom tubing installer available for tubing installation. In addition to maple, Ron drives for Henshaw Trucking hauling asphalt for a local paving contractor, drives school bus, is a township supervisor and is the township’s Emergency Management Coordinator.
Ron and Stanley pride themselves in that their maple business has been built entirely from the production and sale of maple syrup and maple products. Their website is www.shemanskimaple.com.
The second stop on Friday is David and Barbara Hauenstein of Aldenville. David Hauenstein III remembers his grandfather collecting sap with a team of horses and boiling outdoors on two arches.
Page 2 of 4 - For sap buckets, they used five gallon square metal molasses cans with the tops cut off. His grandmother cleansed the syrup using whole milk out of the milk cans in the cooler to skim off the impurities before canning in glass.
In the 1960s, his family built a cinderblock arch for a 4 x12 evaporator pan. They collected from 1,300 taps using a John Deere crawler. After a tornado struck in the summer of 2010, damaging their sugarbush, David began his new sugarhouse using hemlock and spruce trees they had logged and sawed from his woods with their Frick Sawmill.
He purchased a second-hand Waterloo 2 x 6 evaporator. Now he gathers with a 210 gallon poly tank in his pickup from about 220 Wheeling and Leader buckets. Some syrup is sold in two stores; the rest is sold to the same local customers who bought from his grandfather and father.
David’s father is now 94 years young!
David maintains, “Sugaring is a rite of spring for us, not a big business.” He also has a collection of old sugaring equipment, including over 200 different spiles.
The third stop on Friday will be Creamworks Creamery.
Since its inception in 2005, the creamery, located at Riverside Farm, has been working hard to provide consumers with fresh, local milk.
Owners Amy and Chuck Theobald, with partner Bob Ogozaly, have been bottling and shipping milk since July 2010. Their farm fresh milk comes directly from their herd of 200 cows, which leisurely roam their 190 acre farm.
The creamery processes about 900 gallons of milk per week and around 30 pounds of butter. They sell milk, butter, flavored milks and brown eggs at the creamery. Creamworks milk is also available at local supermarkets in Wayne and Lackawanna counties.
Lunch will be at the Red School House. The menu will consist of turkey, ham, or tuna club sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, soda, water, milk, tea and coffee.
The first afternoon stop on Friday will be Tom and Sharon Nebzydoski. Tom began producing syrup in 2001. He has over 2,000 taps on tubing and boils on a 40” x 12’ wood-fired evaporator.
Page 3 of 4 - He uses Zero vacuum bulk tanks instead of mechanical or electric releasers on his vacuum systems. Tom is also a bus contractor for his local school district.
The second afternoon stop will be Burke’s Maple, owned by Dennis and Lisa Burke. In 2001, Dennis and Lisa got advice from Lisa’s grandfather and father, syrup producers from Sherman, N.Y., and began making syrup.
Four years later, they increased their production and began selling their syrup to “sweet merchants.” They now have over 1,000 taps, use mostly tubing, and boil on a 3 x 10 Leader wood-fired evaporator. Their website is www.burkesmaplefarm.com
On Saturday the first stop will be Augusta Acres Farms.
Todd and Sue Klikus have 375 taps, mostly on buckets, and a 2 x 6 wood-fired evaporator. Their 2013 production was 61 gallons. On their 20 acre homestead, Todd and Sue practice sustainable, organic methods.
They keep top bar bees and raise chickens, guineas, heritage pigs, turkeys and ducks. They grow most of their vegetables, berries, and fruit, along with many annual and perennial flowers.
The second stop on Saturday will be Sculpted Ice Works. Guests will tour their ice harvesting museum to learn how ice was harvested in years gone by. You will also tour their ice factory and see how ice carving is done to create beautiful ice sculptures.
The third stop on Saturday will be the Lacawac Sanctuary and Nature Preserve. This 520 acre property includes a hardwood and hemlock forest, a 52 acre pristine glacial lake used for wildlife viewing and research, ponds, wetlands, meadows, a visitor center, five hiking trails, one mile of scenic shoreline on Lake Wallenpaupack and a native plant garden.
Over 100 years ago, a Scranton coal mine operator built the first buildings. The more recent owners, the Watres family, used the property as their Pocono Mountain vacation home.
In 1966, they donated the property and established the current non-profit Lacawac Sanctuary. Today the five-building complex is used for concerts, regularly scheduled nature programs, and as a laboratory and research facility for college environmental studies.
Page 4 of 4 - Lunch will be catered by the Anthill Farm Kitchen and served at the Waters Lodge overlooking Lake Lacawac.
Using local produce, meat, dairy and maple products, the menu will feature maple glazed pork barbecue on a homemade bun, Anthill coleslaw, rustic potato salad, maple baked beans, macaroni and cheese with Calkins Creamery cheddar, Indian summer greens salad with a maple Dijon mustard dressing, maple apple brown betty with apples from O’Neill’s Orchard and maple walnut ice cream from Yatsonsky’s Farm.
Beverages will be iced tea, water, soda and coffee.
The last stop on Saturday will be at Dave and Jane Altemier’s. Dave Altemier grew up making syrup with his siblings and parents on the family farm near Sterling.
The land he now lives on is steeply sloped and well suited to tubing, with 200 taps. His daughter enjoys tapping and collecting 30 buckets. The Altemiers participated in our 2013 March self-guided maple tour, and they plan to expand their sugarhouse to include more space for people! Their wood-fired evaporator is 2x6.