Maple season is a big deal throughout New York State.
In fact, the Empire State has the largest inventory of tappable maple trees in the entire U.S. (sorry Vermont). And New York is home to over 2,000 maple sugar makers in the state, which makes the tree gold big business.
Sprague’s Maple Farm in Portville is one of the largest maple farms in the state. With over 1,000 acres of maple trees and 15,000 taps at their disposal, the farm is able to provide a lot of maple syrup to eager customers across the state and the world with their online store.
Randy Sprague started the farm, nestled on the edge of the Allegheny Mountain Region, 30 years ago. A lifelong farmer, Sprague first saw the ‘maple sugarin’ process when he was a boy, working a neighboring farm.
“I saw the farmer boiling the sap, went home, got a tin can, and tapped a maple tree,” Sprague recalled.
In the last thirty years, Sprague’s Maple Farm has become an institution in Allegheny County and within the maple industry.
But much of Sprague’s crop wasn’t being used. You see, it takes between 40-50 gallons of tree sap to make a single gallon of maple sugar. In the process, 39-49 gallons of pure, clean, and crisp water are extracted, and all that remains is the maple sugar. So what does one do with ten of thousands of gallons of pure water?
Enter Adam Lazar, Founder and CEO of 2016 43North winner Asarasi.
Adam approached Randy about using his value-added crop, the water remaining from maple production, as the source for Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water. We visited Sprague’s Maple Farm to see how the water is extracted first hand.