SouthDown Farm looking to spread awareness on ‘Kentucky Maple Syrup Day’

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Feb. 6, 2021 at 2:04 PM EST
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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The second annual Kentucky Maple Syrup Day kicked off Saturday morning and those at Southdown Farm were at work bright and early.

Those with the Letcher County farm invited community members from all over to purchase their products and learn about the syrup-making process.

The menu included cookies, doughnuts, granola, whoopie pies and of course, pure maple syrup. Co-owner Seth Long said that selling their product is far from the inspiration behind this day, however.

“I think there’s about 10 members who have opened up their farm today to raise awareness about, that we can make maple syrup here in Kentucky,” Long said. “People that are coming out to look at this may want to tap a few trees in their back yard or they might want to put out a thousand taps and make a business out of it. So we’re here raising awareness about making maple syrup in the state of Kentucky.”

Super great day today hosting the 2nd annual Kentucky Maple Syrup Day! Thanks to everyone who visited. We still have...

Posted by SouthDown Farm on Saturday, February 6, 2021

After discovering a passion for maple syrup, Long said that he and his family decided to use that to give back to their community.

“My primary motivation for doing it commercially is we live in an area of persistent poverty,” Long said. “Anything that we can do to stimulate the economy, especially post-coal.”

Long and his family are not the only ones celebrating on Saturday either.

“There are producers that are all across the state and the UK forestry has a website that they help manage along with the Kentucky Maple Syrup Association,” Shad Baker said.

The Long family’s reach has grown so much in two years that even those from other counties are joining in.

“This year, we tapped 35 trees and we’re building a sugar shack and putting an evaporator together and trying to do it a little bigger time at our farm,” Jack Stickney said.

All of this with the goal of bringing Kentucky maple syrup back to the mountains.

“It’s a buttery texture, there’s a different texture to it, and place matters when it comes to food and I think Kentucky maple syrup is pretty special,” Long said.

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