DERRY — Pinkerton Academy will continue to produce maple syrup, thanks to its new sugarhouse.
Finishing touches were put on the new building last week and students were expected to begin boiling sap in their new space if the weather and temperatures cooperated.
But those temperatures have been dipping a bit too much for successful sap runs.
“It’s been too cold,” said environmental studies teacher Michelle Mize. “Everything that ran was freezing in the buckets.”
Last week’s temperatures were a bit warmer and students were able to collect sap and start the evaporators.
“We need to get 50 gallons of sap to get the evaporators going,” Mize said.
The school’s previous sugarhouse was demolished when construction began on the school’s new CTE facilities. A temporary sugaring operation took over a former greenhouse last year while new buildings were being built.
The new sugarhouse stands on the lower campus area, near a new animal science/cosmetology building.
Pinkerton has made maple syrup on campus for a long time.
Students tapped local trees for the first time last week. The temperatures have been quite cold so it wasn’t known if trees would produce enough for the process to start this week.
Students tap about 150 trees as part of the program. Some trees are on Pinkerton property. Others are on the land of Pinkerton’s neighbors, who allow the students to tap their trees every season.
Many of the gallons produced each year are sold to staff members.
Pinkerton’s maple syrup program may also begin inviting local children and other groups to come to Pinkerton to tour the sugarhouse and see how syrup is made.
Mize is hoping the sugar season garners maple syrup success even though the winter has been brutal.
“Never say die,” she said.