Located in the quaint town of Dover, New York, is the new and prospering Madava Farms, home to the maple syrup company, Crown Maple. The Madava Property is covered in 800 acres of maple trees, but the Crown Maple company now operates 2,000 acres with the addition of its satellite properties. For the next season, they hope to expand from 50,000 taps to 100-120,000 tree taps.
The Madava property was bought by Robb and Lydia Turner in 2007. The story goes that Robb and Lydia bought the land so that their daughters, Ava and Maddie, who were growing up in New York City, could enjoy the beauty of nature in the Hudson Valley. The name Madava was created as a combination of the two girls’ names. However, when the property’s neighbor informed Mr. Turner that he was now owner of one of the most highly concentrated forests of high-quality maple trees in the area, known as the Taconic Hardwood Forest. He decided then to begin Crown Maple at Madava. Ten years later, Madava farms has become one of the world’s highest quality producers of organic maple syrup and a renowned tourist destination in the Hudson Valley.
Maple syrup season, oddly enough, lasts only for 30 days, from the end of February through March. This is the time of year when sap in the trees is liquid, so that a temperature difference between the sap and air allows it to flow from the taps into the collection pipes. Crown Maple has a unique pipe system between the trees that collects syrup from the 50,000 taps they have, and delivers it to holding tanks inside their facility.
In a single day, the farm crew of 8-10 people will tap anywhere between 200-500 trees in order to collect around 60,000 gallons a day of sap. The sap is processed and purified through a unique reverse osmosis and a dissolved air flotation unit, then moved to an evaporator. These processes remove over 90% of the water from the sap, to create a syrup that is between 66-68% sugar. A syrup that contains below 66% sugar will grow bacteria because of the water content, and a syrup that contains over 68% sugar will crystallize. These standards are set by the USDA. In order to create 1 gallon of maple syrup, it takes around 40-50 gallons of sap.
Madava as a destination
To drive into the Madava estate is to enter one of the Hudson Valleys hidden gems of preserved natural beauty and agricultural production. The 800 acres of maple trees, farm operation, and scenic space is the perfect place for anything between relaxing weekend get-aways to weddings and anniversaries. Madava Farms offers a comprehensive tour of their facilities where you can enter and witness everything from the four 10,000 gallon holding containers to the sophisticated RO system. The tour ends with a intimate tasting of their four, now prize winning, world renown syrups. You can also enjoy their maple inspired provisions like a Crown Maple Latte at their cafe. Once you have indulged your sweet tooth, take a nature walk through their well groomed public trails and enjoy breathtaking scenescapes and vibrant ponds.
Whether you come for the syrup, the views, or the maple trees, Madava Farms offers a unique Hudson Valley experience, which sets it apart from any other maple syrup farm in the nation and the world. For information on directions and visiting, visit the Madava Farms Website.