Growing up in Derry, N.H., and attending Pinkerton Academy, it really wasn't uncommon to see rows of taps and buckets hanging along the maple trees on the school campus. As the winter was winding down seeing the maple syrup dripping from the trees was a confirmation that spring was approaching.
As time has passed and years have come and gone, unfortunately in many New England towns so have the local farms. However; North Andover, a town that embraces its heritage and proud of its small town feel also has built quite the reputation of supporting local farmers in the community. Smolaks, Roches, Barkers and Boston Hill to name a few, have all provided years and years of great produce, flowers, and family memories visiting with the farm animals.
But North Andover has another farm, shorter in season, and tucked away in out country. Sometimes this hidden gem gets overlooked. It is called Turtle Lane Maple Farm located on 25 Turtle Lane. Farmers Paul Boulanger and Kathy Gallagher are the owners and operators of this maple syrup farm.
I have been on the property several times, and I can tell you the atmosphere and energy is that of a traditional "family owned farm." Driving into the property you will be greeted by two very friendly dogs, a John Deer and a house surrounded by trees and trees and trees. When you step out of the car you smell the aroma of sweetness and you feel the sense of warmth.
Traditional old school family farm !
Making maple syrup is a craft, it is an art, and it takes a lot of patiences and weather that cooperates. But once all these factors work together the outcome is worth the wait. New England is the only area in the United States where Maple Syrup farms can actually make a living. Maple trees are not as common in other parts of the country. If you have ever driven down the back roads of North Andover, well, maple trees are still in abundance here.
The quality of Turtle Lane Maple Farm's syrup is the finest around. Local restaurants Joe Fish is currently severing TLMF syrup over their fresh catfish plate, The Loft is offering a Turtle Lane pork chop dinner and Mad Maggie's has maple syrup ice cream on their menu. All the syrup is provided by our own local North Andover's Turtle Lane Maple Farm.
As for the farm, I recommend you take a tour. It's not only educational to learn the history and the process of making syrup but it is a nice event all members of the family will enjoy.
This is tour season and tours are being provided three times a day on the
Turtle Lane Maple Farm is located on 25 Turtle Lane, North Andover and their website turtlelanemaplefarm.com
Tracey is the owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care and may be contacted at 978-697-6571 or www.wigglewalk.webs.com on facebook at www.facebook.com/wigglesjigglespetcare